Let’s face it. Not many people enjoy flossing. It’s a tedious process that can sometimes seem like it’s not making a difference in your oral care at all.
But, that doesn’t stop dentists from telling us that we need to be flossing every day. It’s still a great thing that you can do for your oral health. But how are you supposed to floss? Is it really supposed to be something that we do every day?
To help you with some great flossing tips, we wrote this blog post. In this post, you’ll find 5 flossing tips to impress your dentist.
You Don’t Need to Use String Floss
One of the reasons people don’t get started with flossing is because they can’t stand the standard string floss. String floss has been around for what seems like forever, but that doesn’t mean it’s the product that you have to use to clean your teeth. There are plenty of other tools that you can use to floss and help create good flossing habits.
Floss picks are a popular second to the traditional string floss, and they work great to remove lodged food and plaque build-up from between teeth and around gums.
Water flossing a less invasive way to floss. But unlike both string floss and floss picks, this floss uses a handheld device to spray water into your mouth. The water that comes out at high pressure can help to dislodge food and plaque similar to the way that floss does.
Use Proper Techniques
After you’ve decided on the material that you’ll use to floss, you’ll need to develop the prop techniques. Knowing how to floss is another common struggle of many. Here is a step by step of how to floss with traditional string floss:
- Start flossing by taking roughly 18 inches of floss.
- Wrap the floss around your fingers so that 2 inches is left for your teeth.
- Hold the floss tight with your thumb and index fingers.
- Place the floss in between two teeth and glide it up and down against the teeth. (Be careful not to glide the floss into your gums.)
- As the floss reaches curve it into a C-shape, this will allow you to floss the space between your gums and your teeth.
- Repeat these steps as you move from tooth to tooth, and be sure to use a new portion of the floss as you do.
These proper techniques will help you to floss correctly and remove the majority of all food particles as well as plaque all the way up to your gum line. The advantage of following these practices instead of using pick floss or water floss is that you’ll be able to floss right up to your gum line and around the base of your teeth. Other flossing methods won’t allow you to get into that area as well.
Don’t “Snap” Your Floss
Snapping your floss in and out of each tooth can damage your teeth more than you’d think. If you use the proper technique of sliding floss in and out of your teeth, you won’t be using too much force and possibly damaging your gums.
As you floss more regularly, most people notice that it becomes a bit easier and more smooth. Ensuring that you don’t snap the floss in and out of your teeth will help to keep your gums healthy and your teeth clean!
Take Your Time
Another common complaint of those who’d rather not floss is that flossing takes a lot of time. Most are correct in their assumption of this. Flossing does take a bit of time and can seem like a bother. But the reason that it’s often encouraged by dentists is because of the preventive value that it adds to your oral habits. Tooth decay isn’t always preventive from brushing. But, when flossing is added into the mix, then it often helps to prevent long term oral health problems better.
On average, flossing should take you roughly 5 minutes. Be cautious not to floss for too long, as it can lead to damaged gums and bleeding in your mouth. Just like brushing too long will have negative effects, so will flossing.
But don’t let the 10 minutes a day that it takes
Don’t Forget Your Gums
We’ve emphasized the importance of flossing around gums quite a bit. But why is it important to floss gums? One of the main reasons you’ll want to remember to floss around your gums is because it helps to prevent gum disease. The first few times that you floss, your gums may bleed slightly, but that’s normal. Dental floss is a soft string, and over time your gums will build up a resistance to the floss and become accustomed to flossing.
If you don’t use dental floss in your oral hygiene routine, then there is a pretty good chance that you’ll develop some gum or tooth problems in the future. Protecting your teeth and gum line with flossing should be one of your top priorities. You’re only given one set of teeth, and keeping them fresh throughout your life is essential.
At Wayzata Dental, we love seeing patients come in clean teeth that they’ve worked hard to keep clean. Of course, some patients struggle to floss consistently, but don’t let that throw you off. We’re happy to help and give you a quick flossing how-to, explanation, and some tips.
To learn more about Wayzata Dental, visit our website. You’ll be able to see our services and how we use laser dental technology to provide each and every patient with a pain-free dental experience. Reach out to us to learn more or to book an appointment!