Everything You Need To Know About Flossing
Most patients are advised to keep up with an at-home brushing and flossing routine when they see their dental care provider, and a large number of us know toothbrushing is necessary for anyone's dental health and overall well-being. However, brushing by itself can't address the entire surface of the tooth. Sometimes bacteria and food particles get stuck in the gums and in between the teeth. Flossing is a great way to cover much more of the tooth’s surface than regular brushing. We offer a range of preventative dental services to protect your teeth and gums. When combined with twice-daily brushing, flossing can keep your teeth and gums healthy while giving you a gorgeous smile. Learn about the benefits of flossing and how to floss your teeth below. Our team wants to help you understand that flossing your teeth is essential to the well-being of your smile, no matter your age.
PREVENTING GUM DISEASE IS IMPORTANT
Gum disease is a progressive disorder that is caused by the accumulation of plaque, a sticky substance that collects on the teeth daily. Plaque develops faster when consuming foods that are high in sugar and starches, so it needs to be removed quickly. Thousands of people suffer from gum disease in the U.S, and it’s not just older individuals: even young people can develop this condition when they don’t stick to a proper oral care routine. Cleaning between the teeth with floss removes bacteria and food particles in areas where a toothbrush can't reach, which can prevent gum disease from ever forming in the first place.
COULD YOU HAVE CHRONIC BAD BREATH?
Though many people aren't worried about their bad breath, it might indicate a significant dental problem that should be addressed. In fact, chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis, is more common than people realize. It’s not just an embarrassing social problem; it can sometimes be a sign of disease or illness. We teach patients the best methods on how to avoid bad breath. While toothbrushing and using mouthwash can certainly help, sometimes the buildup of bacteria and food particles on the teeth is simply too much. Flossing removes the elements that could be causing halitosis.
WHAT IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE FLOSSING TECHNIQUE?
Dental floss is designed to provide an array of choices that help make maintaining good oral health easier. This includes waxed or unwaxed, thin or wide, and flavored or unflavored. The type of floss you want is up to you, although if you have questions or concerns, you may want to ask a professional at our office. We can help you choose a brand that provides maximum comfort and coverage. To start off with, we recommend patients to cut a length of about 18 inches of floss, then wind each end around their fingers to allow about 1 – 2 inches of floss to work with. Holding the floss tightly between the thumbs and index fingers, the next step is to slide the floss between the teeth using a careful back-and-forth motion. It’s important to gently move the floss toward the base of the tooth, reaching below the gumline. Remember to not force the floss down because this may harm the gum tissue. Finally, lift the floss up using the same back-and-forth motion as before. These steps will be repeated as needed to address each tooth.
EXPERIENCE THE BENEFITS OF FLOSSING FOR YOURSELF
When it comes to oral health habits, many adults and children see flossing as unnecessary, although this is definitely not correct. Flossing every day allows patients to gain a cleaner, healthier smile and more beautiful teeth. Speaking with your dentist and trying different flossing options that work best for you can tremendously improve your overall flossing experience. Additionally, it’s important to remember that children need to clean between their teeth just as often as adults. Parents can help their children develop good flossing habits as soon as their teeth start to touch. Find out more about the benefits of flossing at our office. Our team looks forward to helping you achieve and maintain excellent oral health. We strive to exceed your expectations with treatments that meet each patient’s unique dental needs. Our staff hopes to be your source of comprehensive, high-quality dentistry, whether you require a simple check-up or more complex services. Reach out to us today to set up an appointment at our convenient location. Whether you’re still learning how to floss or require more extensive services, our team is here to help.
HOW TO FLOSS YOUR TEETH
The American Dental Hygienists’ Association recommends the proper flossing technique in four easy to follow steps:
Wind: Wind approximately 18 inches of floss around the middle or index finger. Using the middle finger leaves your index finger free to manipulate the floss. Pinch floss between thumbs and index fingers. Use thumbs to direct floss between upper teeth.
Guide: Keep a one- to two-inch length of floss between fingers. Use your index finger to guide the floss between the teeth.
Glide: Guide the floss gently using a zig-zag type of motion. Glide the floss around the side of the tooth, making a “C” type shape as you wrap the floss around the tooth.
Slide: Using your thumb as a guide, slide the floss up and down against the tooth surface, under the gum line, and along the back side of each tooth, removing plaque and debris.