Flossing is one of the most important ways to promote healthy teeth and gums. Proper flossing helps dislodge food debris between the teeth and along the gum line where it is more difficult for a toothbrush to reach. This simple daily act prevents bacteria and plaque from building up, which leads to cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. In addition to a healthier mouth, fresher breath is another benefit to flossing your teeth.
Unfortunately, for many people, flossing is one of the most overlooked steps in routine oral health care. As a result, these patients are at an increased risk for gum infections that lead to gum disease and eventually tooth loss. To get the most out of flossing, you not only need to make sure that you are using the right type of floss for your smile, but also using the correct technique. Keep reading to learn more about the proper way to floss.
The first step to proper flossing is selecting a floss that works best for your unique dental needs and preferences. Today, there are a variety of flosses and flossing aids from which to choose. These include:
String dental floss is available waxed or unwaxed, and is the most commonly used floss. Waxed floss is most often preferred as it slides easily between teeth and doesn’t fray as easily as unwaxed floss.
Dental tape is flatter and smoother than traditional floss. It can easily clean between small spaces, making it a good option for people who have a lot of crowding or who wear dental appliances, like bridges.
This type of flossing device holds the floss for you, which allows you to clean between your teeth with one hand. Although easier and more convenient to use than traditional floss, floss picks may not be as effective as regular floss, since they cannot reach many of the important angles to clean around the teeth. If you’re on the go or have dexterity problems, however, floss picks are a convenient option.
A floss threader is a small needle-like tool that can be used to move floss between tight spaces in your teeth. This type of floss aid is especially helpful if you wear dental appliances, braces or permanent retainers.
These motorized dental tools use a stream of pulsating water to remove food and plaque between the spaces of your teeth.
To maintain healthy gums, make flossing a habit every day, at least once a day. If you are using regular string floss, your technique is very important. These tips can help you maximize the effectiveness of your flossing routine:
In conjunction with twice-daily brushing and regular visits to Clarity Dentistry, make sure you are flossing once a day to maintain good oral hygiene and overall health. If you have questions about selecting floss or how to floss correctly, contact us today for more information.