Flossing is a regular part of a good oral care routine. In fact, you should be flossing your teeth every time you brush them. Flossing helps remove small pieces of food that brush can leave behind in the tight areas between your teeth and along the gum line. If left there, these pieces of food can cause bad breath, and over time they will start to decay. The bacteria produced will wear away at your tooth enamel, cause teeth to decay, and cause gum disease. Most of us were taught how to brush our teeth at a young age, but many people never learned how to floss properly. The following flossing tips should help get you on track to a better oral care routine and healthier teeth.
1. Don’t Skimp on Floss
Use at least a length of 18 inches each time you plan to floss. If necessary, grab a second or third piece if the first gets dirty or start fraying. The longer pieces of floss will allow you to get a good grip while flossing and help you reach areas that shorter pieces may not reach.
2. Use a “C” Motion
The motion you want to use is a “C” motion with the opening at the top. Holding your floss tightly, start at one side of the gap between two teeth. Slide the floss downward and then across the small gap along the gumline. Finally, bring the floss upwards on the other side of the gap. In this way, you have a chance to “scoop” any particles that may be hiding between two teeth. Do this for every tooth on the top and bottom.
3. Floss the Gum Line
The most important thing to remember is to take your time with this process. Moving too quickly can damage both teeth and gums or leave behind the debris you are trying to reach.
Sometimes tiny particles of food can get hidden just beneath the gum line. When you reach the gum line, make sure you gently bring the floss down enough to get just under the gums. Be careful, however, to do this gently so you don’t take a cut or scratch in the gums that could end up getting infected. This is best done by using slow, smooth motions throughout the entire process.
4. Use Alternative Flossing Methods
There are different types of flossing materials. You may have tried different regular floss types and found you still don’t feel comfortable with the flossing process. Floss picks are individual plastic picks with a short length of floss across the top. These are easier to handle and keep the floss at a steady tautness ideal for the job. These are often easier to use for very young children and the elderly, who may not have the flexibility in their fingers to hold traditional floss properly. Another method is an electronic floss pik that resembles a water pik toothbrush. This battery-operated wand-shaped unit releases a steady stream of water at the areas between your teeth and along your gum line. The pressure loosens any debris.
5. Take Your Time
Also, remember that flossing isn’t something that needs to be rushed. Take your time flossing your teeth. Doing so will ensure you don’t cut into your gums and that you can get any and all pieces of food debris out from between your teeth.
Contact Lovett Dental Heights
Get your teeth on track and establish a healthy oral care routine. In addition to daily brushing and flossing, contact Lovett Dental Heights at 832.780.4573 to set up a dental appointment for a dental exam and cleaning. Regular dental cleanings can help you get the left behind traces that brushing and flossing may leave behind. The exams will also be able to detect any possible problems early. This will give us the best chance of saving your smile as long as possible. Give us a call today.