Do you always remember to floss? When we’re rushing through our morning or evening routine it’s easy to skip this step. Unfortunately, not flossing and not flossing properly can put your oral health at risk.
Flossing loosens food particles and plaque between teeth and under your gum line. If left behind, these particles can lead to cavities and gum disease. Not just for adults, but flossing and regular dental hygiene tactics are also important for kids. Like many other dentists, we tell our patients, “you only need to floss the teeth you want to keep!”
Different Types of Floss
Did you know that there are many different kinds of floss to choose from? Here’s a quick summary of your options.
As the name suggests, this floss has a coating of wax over it. The wax helps it glide easier while making it sturdier. If you have crowded teeth, this wax might be more difficult to use.
If you have teeth that are tight together, this floss is for you. Note that since it’s made of nylon yarn, it breaks more easily.
A durable floss that goes under the brand name, Glide. It’s the same material used in Gore-Tex outdoor gear and non-stick pans, which means it’s extremely durable.
A wide and flat type of floss that is great if your teeth are evenly spaced.
This is a plastic tool that looks like a large needle that helps users floss underneath dental implants, bridges, and braces. Luckily, floss threaders can be used with any type of floss.
This floss is great for people with braces, bridges, and wider spaces between teeth. The end of the floss is stiffened to help get under braces and tight places.
If you’re not into string flosses, you can opt for a water flosser instead. This unique tool uses high water pressure to blast away food particles and plaque from your teeth. A lot of people find these to be easier to use compared to regular floss.
How to Floss The Right Way
If you’re not flossing properly, you could be missing out on major dental benefits. Make sure you’re using the right technique. Remember, any floss will work with this method.
- Wash your hands before flossing because your fingers will be in your mouth and there might be bacteria on them.
- Wind 18 inches of floss around your middle or index finger of one hand and the same on the other hand. We recommend you wind the floss around your middle finger so your index finger can control the floss.
- Pinch both ends of the floss in between your index fingers and thumbs leaving about 2 inches of floss length in between. Keep this length taught.
- Begin guiding the floss in between the teeth, making sure to wrap it around each tooth. Use thumbs to guide flossing on upper teeth, index fingers for lower teeth. It doesn’t matter where you start.
- Slide the floss up and down each tooth and under the gum line, unrolling a fresh section of floss as you move from each tooth. You wouldn’t want to use a piece of dirty floss on another tooth. This would just be moving food particles from one tooth to the next!
- Make sure you get every tooth, including the back teeth.
While we don’t always remember or like to floss, its benefits cannot be ignored. It’s so important that many tools and types of floss exist just so you can have an easier time incorporating this step in your dental routine. Don’t wait for routine dental services to clean up plaque. We promise, your smile and dental appointments will improve greatly just by flossing properly, once a day.