- February 9, 2016
You’ve just finished brushing your teeth and getting ready for bed. You’re almost out of the bathroom when you realize something: you haven’t flossed. In a while. Oh well – you’ll be fine if you just head to bed now, right?
If you’re like half of American adults you don’t make flossing a regular habit. At Shorewood Family Dental Care we’d like to change that bad habit – flossing is just as essential to your oral health as brushing your teeth!
Today we want to cover all things floss. While that might not sound exciting we’re hoping it can motivate you to make some good oral health choices in the future.
Why Flossing Is So Essential
In case you don’t know what causes tooth decay and gum disease we’re going to tell you: oral bacteria. It exists in the form of plaque and is responsible for most every single oral health problem that can happen. You brush your teeth twice a day to eliminate plaque from building up, giving yourself a break from its assault on your oral health.
Brushing isn’t enough to completely get rid of plaque, especially in all those small nooks and crannies where it likes to hide – like between your teeth. When it’s hiding in there plaque has plenty of time to get beneath your gums and cause tooth decay, but both can be easily prevented by flossing!
Proper Flossing Technique
In order to be effective you need to floss every evening before bed. If plaque on the surfaces of your teeth builds up every day it’s no different between them! If you’ve been an irregular flosser or are a daily participant you still might not be getting the most out of your time spent flossing. No one likes to do it, but you may as well get the most benefit that you can!
- An 18 inch piece of floss is the perfect length for covering your entire mouth. Break off a piece about that size and wrap it around your middle fingers. Wrap most of the floss around one hand and just a bit around the other.
- Only leave a few inches between your hands. This helps keep it taut and makes it far easier to manipulate.
- Feed it between your teeth by using a back-and-forth motion. Make sure to get down to the gumline and also clean both teeth.
- Once you’re done pull it free and wind it from the fuller hand to the emptier one. Repeat until you’ve cleaned between all of your teeth.
If you do this nightly you can go a long way toward improving gum health, keeping gum disease and tooth decay at bay. Good oral hygiene is the front line against all the horrible oral health problems you’ve heard of, so make it a goal to keep practicing good habits!
Choosing The Right Product for You
Flossing isn’t fun but it can be more or less of a hassle depending on what products you use. If you’ve had trouble with flossing knowing that there are options can help.
Typical pull-it-through-your-teeth floss comes in three different varieties that are best suited for different kinds of teeth.
- Nylon, which is the most typical kind, is meant for normal mouths. If you have problems using nylon because it shreds, tears, gets stuck, or isn’t large enough than you need to consider other options.
- Monofilament looks like a thin ribbon. These are made from plastics or rubbers and are great for people with tighter teeth or overcrowding.
- Super floss is wider and yarn-like that is perfect for getting between orthodontic appliances or gaps in teeth.
Hate hand flossing? There are still other options!
- Floss holders come in either disposable or refillable models. The ability to stay a bit more hands off makes many people more comfortable.
- Water flossers shoot a pressurized jet of water through the spaces between your teeth. These are the ultimate in luxury, and can be pretty expensive. A lot of people still say they’re worth it!
Just Make Sure You Floss
It doesn’t matter how you’re doing it, just make sure you’re keeping that smile clean by flossing. It’s also essential to be getting regular dental cleanings and exams – without them all the flossing and brushing in the world won’t stop oral health problems from happening!