It’s a common admonishment delivered by our dentists at nearly every check-up, “Spend more time flossing!”. For many of us, even the most meticulous of us, flossing is something that quickly gets cast to the side or ignored as a necessity. The result is decay and plaque build-up occurring in places that the brush can’t quite reach. Of those who avoid flossing, it’s likely that the majority of them aren’t sure how to do it properly. Even those who floss regularly are at risk of decay if they don’t take the time to learn the simple steps involved in thorough and effective flossing.
Preparing To Floss
Before you can floss adequately, you need to know how to set yourself up for flossing. There’s a wide variety of floss available on the market, from waxed floss to flavored to just plain floss. There are also a number of tools available to help make flossing simpler for those who have difficulty using their fingers as part of the process. To make sure that your floss is certified and respected by the industry, look for the ADA Seal Of Acceptance on the product.
Get The Correct Amount Of Floss
There is such a thing as too much or too little floss, and failing to select the right amount can make it difficult to do a thorough job of flossing your teeth. It starts by taking out 18in of floss and wrapping it around the middle finger of each hand. Then take 1-2 inches of floss between your thumb and pointer finger and begin flossing!
Get To Flossing Your Teeth!
Now that you’re all set up it’s time to start flossing. You want to gently saw the floss down between your teeth to clean out the gaps, but do so gently. One of the biggest mistakes made by aggressive flossers is snapping the floss down on the gums, resulting in damage to the gums and bleeding. Some bleeding is inevitable, especially when you first start flossing, but there’s no reason to aggravate it.
It’s All About Angle
Now that you have the floss in the gap between your teeth angle it against one side of your teeth in a sort of “C” shape, and begin gently sawing the floss up and down your teeth before switching sides. This will help eliminate the build-up of floss the sides of your teeth.
In For A Penny, In For A Pound
Make sure you get ALL your teeth, while any flossing at all is better than none, you may as well be thorough to make sure you get the full benefit of your burgeoning flossing habit. The more often you do this, the less often you’ll have to worry about problems at your dental visits.
Now that you’ve started on the road to an excellent flossing habit, why not pick up the phone and start another great dental habit? Namely, seeing your dentist on a regular basis. The Champions For Oral Health, under the direction of Chad Kaperowski, have been servicing the Fairfax, VA community and its surrounding areas with pride since they first opened their doors. They’re eager to welcome you to their family of patients too!