You probably do the best job you can when it comes to taking care of your teeth by regularly brushing and flossing them and keeping up with regular dental exams and cleanings. But there may be some things that you can do better.
Flossing, in particular, is something that many people don’t do as well as they should. It’s not just a matter of flossing often enough but also flossing well enough. Dr. Thomas D. Sokoly of Sokoly Dental explains more about how to elevate your oral hygiene routine with correct flossing techniques.
Why flossing is so important
You may not realize that flossing is important; many people don’t. A lot of people think as long as they floss once in a while, that’s good enough. But it matters a lot more for a lot of reasons.
Here are some:
- Prevents gum disease
- Keeps food debris from settling in between your teeth (which can ultimately cause cavities)
- Prevents bleeding gums
- Prevents tooth loss
- Removes plaque buildup
- Prevents other health concerns, including heart disease
- Prevents bad breath
Flossing isn’’t necessarily fun, but it does make your teeth feel cleaner and your mouth feel better.
Flossing tips to elevate your oral hygiene routine
If you’re looking for a way to make flossing a bigger part of your oral hygiene routine, here are some tips.
Be sure to floss the correct way
You want to wrap dental floss around your teeth in a C shape and make sure it goes down all the way to your gums. If your teeth bleed when you floss, it’s not a reason to avoid flossing, but rather a sign that you should do so more regularly. Avoid letting the floss hit the little triangle of flesh between your teeth.
Use different types of floss
You don’t have to stick to just the standard waxed thread floss you can get at the grocery store. You might find that another type of floss works better for you. There are many different types, including:
- Waxed and unwaxed nylon floss
- Flavored or unflavored floss
- Tape floss (also known as dental tape)
- Biodegradable or natural floss
Some people prefer waxed or tape floss because it glides more easily between the teeth. Other people prefer the unwaxed variety because it seems to pick up food debris better. Experiment to find out which you like the best because that’s what you’re most likely to keep using.
Consider a water flosser
Water flossers like the WaterPik® are dental jets that spray water between your teeth to flush out the food debris. Some dentists consider water flossers inferior to floss for removing the debris from your mouth.
However, especially if you have difficulty with using traditional floss, a water flosser is a good alternative, and it’s definitely better than not flossing at all.
Use other flossing aids
Many products can assist with flossing your teeth. These include:
- Floss picks, which are portable and can easily remove food stuck between teeth
- Dental floss holder, which comes in a Y shape and is ideal if you have bridges or braces
- Vibrating flosser
You can also use a combination of these tools to help keep your breath fresh and remove plaque and tartar build up.
If you need help learning about the correct way to floss or would like help with finding a solution that works for you, feel free to contact us or make an appointment online today.