Do you use dental floss? If so, how often? Do you do it daily, as the American Dental Association recommends? If so, are you doing it right? While many people believe that flossing is optional, they are wrong. Flossing is necessary to help avoid tooth decay and infections. Also, there is a method for proper flossing, which many people do not understand.
Break Off a Big Enough Piece
The first mistake even dedicated flossers make is not using enough dental floss. You have to use a long piece, about 18 inches, to correctly hold and maneuver the floss around your teeth and gums. If you use a piece that is too small, then your cleaning technique may be ineffective because you do not reach the crevices you need to.
Hold the Floss Correctly
Once you have a piece of floss that is long enough, you want to make sure you are holding it correctly. You want to hold the floss with your forefinger and thumb of each hand, tightly. Some people prefer to wrap the floss around their fingers, but if you do that, make sure to have a longer piece of material.
Guide the Floss
Now, holding the floss firmly with your preferred method, you want to guide the floss between your teeth. While it is tempting to force the floss to the gums, you want to go slowly, reducing the risk of injury to the gumline and teeth.
Even after placing the floss between your teeth, you want to be careful. Going to forcefully toward the gums can cause injury and bleeding. Also, you don’t want to accidentally force food debris further into the gumline, risking possible infection. Just remember that slow and steady wins the race.
Use Gentle Motions
Once you have reached the gum line, you want to curve the floss around a single tooth in a C shape. At this point, you will begin rubbing the side of the tooth gently, moving up and down. You will want to repeat this process for every tooth, including the backside of your back tooth. When finished, discard the floss and rinse your mouth.Flossing is a necessary dental habit. By combining flossing, brushing and washes, you are reducing your risk of oral infections. Make sure to at least floss once per day and brush twice. Also, if you have not been to the dentist in the last six months for a routine exam, be sure to contact a dentist, like from John Redmond Orthodontics, and schedule an appointment.