An oral health care regimen is incomplete without flossing your teeth. Simply brushing your teeth is not enough. If you don’t floss, you are ignoring 40 percent of the tooth’s surface. You can’t reach that surface with a toothbrush or mouthwash. If you don’t floss, plaque accumulates in between the teeth, then hardens and becomes tartar. Tartar can only be removed with professional cleaning. So don’t wait. Start a routine and follow it!
How to Use Standard FlossIt is recommended that on average you floss once a day, and brush your teeth twice a day for a duration of two minutes. Keep in mind that it takes 24 hours for plaque to form so flossing once a day will prevent plaque buildup between the teeth. Studies show the best time to floss is in the evening, at least thirty minutes after you have eaten.
|Choose floss that is compatible with the spacing between your teeth.
|Remove about 18 to 24 inches of floss from the container.
|Wrap the floss around your index finger so that there is approximately 5 cm available for flossing. A common mistake is to use too much.
|Use a gentle rocking motion as you slide the floss between your teeth. Avoid being forceful. Do not snap it into place. Use your thumbs to help guide the floss with your upper teeth, and the middle fingers for your lower teeth.
|For best results curve the floss around your selected tooth in a c shape.
|Avoid forcefully pushing the floss into your gum. Instead, carefully go underneath gum tissue to pull up all trapped food.
|After you are done, wrap the previously used floss around one finger while unwinding fresh floss from the other.
|Repeat the process until you have cleaned all of your teeth.
Dental PlackersPlackers are hand-held flossing devices. They are disposable, easy to use and only require one hand. They are especially good for individuals who struggle to reach the back of their mouth, have limited mobility or who have tight teeth.
The recommended technique for plackers is similar to that of standard floss. Slide the floss up and down. Remember to be gentle and go underneath the gums. Don’t rush, and don’t be forceful. The most common mistake people make with plackers is they go too quickly and are not as thorough.
If Your Gums BleedThere are many reasons why your gums might bleed during your flossing. There may be an excess of plaque buildup, a vitamin deficiency or you may be suffering from periodontal disease. New medications, toothbrushes and flossing routines can also cause your gums to bleed.
If you notice bleeding, be sure to rinse your mouth with salt water or mouthwash to help prevent bacteria from spreading deeper into the gums. After you are finished, make sure to call us at (360) 659-3200 to schedule an appointment as there may be an underlying problem that will need to be addressed. It is always best to confront dental problems early and head on.