Do you floss regularly and properly? If you are not sure simply ask your dental hygienist, who can quickly deduce whether you are engaging in the recommended flossing routine. A simple examination of your teeth and gums will provide the hygienist with all the information necessary to determine your flossing habits, whether they are good or bad. If your hygienist asks whether you have been flossing, your best response should be an honest one.
Many people floss too infrequently or improperly. Just because someone flosses every day, that does not necessarily mean they are gaining the full benefit of their efforts if their technique is improper. In order to make sure your flossing routine is effective, be sure to exercise care with the following helpful flossing tips.
Use a Liberal Length of Floss
If you are skimpy with the amount of dental floss you use, it will be difficult to floss properly. In order to gain the full benefits of flossing, it is important to use a healthy length of floss each time. For most people this means about 18” to 20” of floss material. Remember that this is well over a foot of floss! If you have concerns, follow your hygienist’s lead on this matter. More floss will help you get the job done properly.
Zig-Zag and Slide the Floss
Some teeth are close together and some are farther apart. When you pull floss between your teeth, particularly tight ones, it is sometimes easier to pull the floss taught until it pops itself between your teeth. Try to avoid this technique and instead, slide the floss back and forth in order to ease it between those tighter joints in your teeth. By using a zig-zag motion your floss will be more effective.
Don’t Ignore Your Gums!
Sliding the floss in between your teeth is important to clear any food particles that are stuck between them but many people neglect those hidden areas between your teeth and your gums and ignoring this area can lead to problems with your gum tissues. It is important to slide the floss down around the base of each tooth where it meets your gums in order to remove food that can be trapped in these areas.
Use Fresh Sections of Floss As You Go
As you floss between your teeth and around your gums, the floss will pick up food particles and bacteria. If you are not advancing along the length of the floss to a fresh length for each tooth, you will simply transfer food particles and bacteria from one tooth to another. This is why it is so important to use the proper length of floss, so you can continually use a fresh section of floss.
Don’t Forget to Rinse!
The flossing process loosens and removes food particles from between your teeth, but they are not all stuck to the floss. Much of this material may be left behind in your mouth so it is important to remove it with a thorough rinsing before you are finished in order to prevent having them wind up back between your teeth.
These simple techniques will ensure that you are flossing properly so it is important to establish a flossing routine. With the correct frequency and technique to your flossing regimen, your dental hygienist may not even have to ask whether you floss.
If you have questions about your flossing frequency or technique, contact as Pearland Family Dentistry today. We are ready to serve the greater Houston, Pearland, TX areas so call our friendly staff with any questions or to schedule your next dental visit.