Although many people neglect to floss, the practice is an essential component of a good oral hygiene regimen. Flossing removes the particles of food and plaque that are left between the teeth and just below the gum line.
Even if you are brushing your teeth properly each morning and evening, some of your tooth surfaces are beyond the reach of your toothbrush. Flossing helps ensure that the areas of a tooth that are missed by the toothbrush are cleaned.
Still, many people floss incorrectly or avoid flossing altogether. Here are a few suggestions to make flossing easier.
Learn How to Floss Correctly
Flossing with string floss takes practice. Navigating the floss around the teeth can seem cumbersome at first, but over time, it becomes easier. Here are a few steps to help you ensure that you are flossing correctly:
- Discharge approximately 18 inches of floss.
- Wind each end of the floss around a middle finger, leaving only a couple of inches free to insert between your teeth.
- Press the floss into a space between two teeth and move the string up and down to clear away the plaque and debris.
- At the base of the teeth, with the floss still inserted between two teeth, wrap the floss around a tooth and again move the floss in an up-down motion to remove plaque from below the gum line.
- Unwind a bit of unused floss and repeat steps three and four until all of your teeth and interdental spaces have been cleaned.
Try Alternative Flossing Methods If Using String Floss Is Difficult
Some people may still feel that using string floss is too difficult. For them, an alternative flossing method may be helpful. Here are a few alternatives to traditional string floss.
- Interdental brushes. Interdental brushes are small brushes that resemble tiny pipe cleaners and can be inserted into the spaces between the teeth to clear away debris.
- Floss picks. Floss picks eliminate the need to wind the floss around your middle fingers. Instead, the floss is already held in place by the P-shaped tool. Still, floss picks cannot be wrapped around a tooth because the floss is held taut by the tool's design.
- Oral irrigators. Oral irrigators use water instead of string to flush away plaque and food particles. The concentrated stream released by the device can even remove debris from below the gum line.
For more information about flossing and how it can help you maintain your oral health, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area. For more information, contact a company like Pacific Ave Dental/Allan L. Hablutzel, DDS.