Dental Tip One: Flossing
When it comes to your teeth, there are some things that you just inherently know: Brush twice a day and visit your dentist twice a year. But, there is a lot of things that you also need to know about the steps in between:
- …What’s the best way to brush your teeth?
- Should you use mouthwash?
- If so, how much and how often?
- What kinds of foods should I avoid?
- Are there some that are good for my teeth?
- How do I avoid bad breath?
- And so on…
Questions like these are very important, and they get a lot more involved than simply brushing twice and scheduling your appointments.
Let’s talk about flossing. Flossing is a chore that gets forgotten daily by almost everybody. Everybody also knows that they’re supposed to. Flossing cleans out the areas of your mouth that can’t be reached with your toothbrush. Otherwise, plaque and eventually tartar can form, and that will require an extra trip to our office! For those that want to start flossing here’s how:
- Choose your floss:
Not all floss is created equal. There is dental tape, un-waxed floss, and waxed floss. Each has advantages. Dental tape is likely more effective when you have dental prosthetics and bridgework. Waxed floss is usually easier to slide in between your teeth, and un-waxed floss will make a squeaking sound when you use it to indicate that all the plaque is taken care of. Ask us which one is best if you’re unsure.
- How to use your floss
- Cut off about 18” and wind it between two of your fingers, more on one side. The side with less will take up the used floss as you go.
- Use your thumbs to hold the floss, leaving about an inch to do the actual flossing.
- Slide the floss in between your teeth and take it all the way to your gums, sliding in between your gums and teeth on both sides gently.
- Pull the floss out and unwind some floss while taking up the excess
- Some other things to consider:
Flossing shouldn’t hurt. It might hurt a little in the beginning, but after a one or two weeks, it will stop. When the dentist says that your gums won’t bleed during your cleaning if you floss, they’re telling you the truth!
You should floss once a day
You can keep floss in your car and floss before work if that helps you to remember.
Make sure not to floss too hard! Only push into your gums until you feel resistance; that’s as far as you should go.
Don’t floss in public. It’s weird.
You already know that flossing is important, and now you know how to go about making it part of your routine! We’ll keep giving you more dental tips to help you keep your mouth healthy and your visits at our office to a minimum!