Spring is here so it’s a great time to make a fresh start! If you are making plans for spring cleaning around the house, why not start in the bathroom and floss your teeth and gums? Dental floss is a simple teeth cleaning method with fast results. Here are some tips to make flossing easier.
How Do I Floss My Teeth?
To floss your teeth:
Pull a length of floss from the dispenser, and wrap it around both of your middle fingers. Leave about 2 inches between your fingers.
Use your index fingers to slide the floss gently between two of your teeth.
Wrap the floss into a C shape at the base of your tooth, just under the gum line. Rub the floss gently up and down your tooth, 3 to 6 times. Floss both sides of your tooth.
Advance the floss between your fingers as you repeat with every tooth.
Throw away the floss and wash your hands when finished.
What Stops You From Flossing?
Are any of these problems stopping you from flossing your teeth?
“Floss tastes bad” or “Flossing feels strange.”
There are many types of floss (flavored, plain, waxed, thick, thin) and flossing aids to choose. Experiment until you find one that you like.
“My gums bleed or hurt when I floss, so I stopped.”
Bleeding gums are a sure sign of gingivitis. Flossing can help prevent gingivitis from developing into more serious forms of periodontal disease. If your gums are bleeding, they need more attention, not less!
“I’m afraid the floss will yank my teeth out.”
Actually, the opposite is true. If you don’t floss and periodontal disease escalates into bone or ligament loss, your teeth will fall out! If the floss “catches” on something, have your dentist check it out. It could be something easily smoothed out or a sign that an old filling or crown may need replacing.
“My fingers are too big” or “I’ve got arthritis.”
If holding the floss between your fingers is difficult, try using manual or electric flossing aids.
“I can’t floss because I have orthodontic braces/dentures/bridges.”
Flossing is super important with braces, partials and bridges! Ask us for flossing techniques that will help you preserve these important financial and health investments.
“It’s embarrassing to floss before going to bed with my partner.”
It’s best to floss before going to sleep so your teeth are clean for the night, but if it’s inconvenient to floss at bedtime, schedule your daily flossing routine during the day or right after your last meal. A clean mouth at night helps prevent bad breath from leftover food particles.
“My dental hygienist flosses my teeth, so I don’t need to do it.”
Flossing twice per year at your regular dental checkup will not prevent tooth decay or periodontal disease. Flossing is a critical part of your daily homecare routine.
“My water irrigator is all I need.”
Water irrigation products can help remove food particles, but floss is better for removing plaque and preventing tartar build-up.
“I’m too busy with the children.”
There are flosses and flossing aids designed for just for kids, so you and your children can create a flossing routine together. You’ll both learn great habits for healthy teeth!
“I’m too busy, period.”
A typical dental care routine normally takes about 3 minutes. Investing a few minutes now can help avoid hours of restorative treatment or dental pain later.
We hope you’ve learned about how to floss and some healthy benefits for flossing your teeth – more great tips from your Amherst NH dentists. If you have any further questions about teeth flossing, please call us. And be sure to schedule a “spring cleaning” dental checkup at our office!