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Brushing your teeth alone only cleans about 60% of the surfaces of your teeth. Flossing is the ideal way to clean in between the teeth thoroughly, but for some, sticking with flossing can be difficult.
Here are five tips from our expert team on how to make flossing easier.
Commit To Flossing Daily
The more committed you can be to flossing your teeth daily, the more practice you will have to perfect your technique. Flossing once a day will allow for you to floss quickly and effectively, in addition to allowing your gums to adapt. After continuous flossing for one week, you will notice your gums stop bleeding, and flossing will become significantly more comfortable. After week two, flossing becomes incorporated into your oral hygiene routine, and you will no longer think of it as a chore, but as something you simply do like brushing your teeth before bed.
Perfect Your Technique
After one week of flossing, you will have the perfect technique. Until then, review this step-by-step guide to flossing your teeth correctly:
- If you’re using traditional dental floss, start with a piece roughly 18-24 inches. Start by winding most of the floss around both of your middle fingers, leaving only 1-2 inches of floss for cleaning your teeth.
- Hold the floss taut with your thumbs and index fingers.
- Place the dental floss between two teeth. Gently begin to glide the floss up and down against each side of the tooth. Holding the floss in a “C” shape ensures you’re cleaning each surface of the tooth.
- As the floss reaches your gums, make sure you’re curving the floss at the base and avoid using force near the gum tissue.
- Repeat the above steps as you move from tooth to tooth.
- Don’t forget to floss the backside of the last molars!
Start With The Right Type of Floss For Your Teeth
There are many different types of flossing products on the market. Finding the right kind of floss for your teeth can be tedious, but it’s essential to find something that works for you that is both convenient and effective.
Different types of dental floss products include:
- Unwaxed Floss – Unwaxed floss works well if you have no problems getting the floss between your teeth and removing the floss from your teeth. It is also slightly thinner than unwaxed floss.
- Waxed Floss – Most people choose waxed floss because it is easier to get between the teeth and move up and down to loosen and remove plaque and food particles.
- Floss Tape – Floss tape is a broader type of floss that is great for individuals who have gaps between their teeth. This type of floss can be purchased waxed or unwaxed, depending on your preferences.
- Floss Picks – Floss picks have a handle with a small amount of floss threaded between two prongs. This type of floss is ideal for reaching the back teeth and for individuals who have trouble getting the floss between their teeth.
- Floss Threader – Floss threaders are ideal for individuals who have braces, bridges, or other dental appliances that can make flossing with standard floss difficult.
- Electric Water Flossers – This type of flosser utilizes pressurized water rather than a string to clean between the teeth and along the gum line effectively. Hand-held water flossers are ideal for those with limited mobility.
Make Sure You’re Using Enough Product
Achieving a thoroughly clean surface on each tooth ensures you are applying a correct technique to your flossing routine. Each tooth should be cleaned with a fresh piece of floss. The best way to do this is to use at least 18 inches of floss each time you clean. Using the same piece of floss for each tooth can spread unwanted bacteria around your mouth and into your gum pockets.
Don’t Stress Over Minor Gum Soreness
Bleeding, sore gums are a sign of gingivitis and periodontal disease. However, if you’ve recently adding flossing to your daily routine, you may experience some minor bleeding and soreness after you floss. Experiencing this type of bleeding and discomfort is normal. However, if you’ve been flossing daily for a few weeks and are still experiencing gum soreness and bleeding, it’s time to schedule an appointment with Hoffman Dental Care for an examination. Dr. Hoffman can examine your gums to determine if there is a significant underlying issue, or if the bleeding and discomfort are linked to a poor flossing technique.
To schedule an appointment for an examination, teeth cleaning, or to better determine what type of floss is ideal for your teeth, call Hoffman Dental Care today.