Flossing Your Way to Total Oral Health
Did you know that brushing doesn’t completely clean your teeth? Flossing plays a key role in oral hygiene and is the only way to remove plaque and food from between your teeth and under your gumline where a toothbrush can’t easily reach.
When you floss every day, you prevent plaque from building up and causing tooth decay and gum disease. Here’s a brief guide to flossing.
How to Floss
Always floss your teeth in the same order to form a habit and avoid skipping teeth. Begin with a piece of floss that’s about 45 cm long and follow these simple steps.
• Wrap the floss around each middle finger, leaving 3 to 5 cm of floss pulled tight between your fingers.
• Use your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss between your teeth.
• Curve the floss into a C-shape around your tooth and gently slide it beneath the gumline.
• Hold the floss tightly against your tooth and gently move the floss back and forth up the tooth.
• Repeat these steps two or three times on either side of each tooth, including the back side of your last molar.
• Make sure to use a clean section of floss for each tooth to avoid spreading bacteria.
Sticky and starchy foods are more likely to get stuck between your teeth and cause damage. Take extra care when flossing after you eat foods like dried fruit, candy, potato chips and white bread.
When to Floss
Floss your teeth at least once a day, ideally before you go to bed. This prevents plaque and food from lingering on your teeth all night. Floss is also useful for removing pieces of food caught between your teeth. However, you should avoid over-flossing as it can damage your gums. For a deeper clean, brush your teeth or rinse your mouth after flossing to wash out any remaining particles.
Flossing with Braces
If you wear braces, use a floss threader or self-threading floss to clean between your gums and the wire.
It’s normal for your gums to bleed when you first start flossing. If the problem persists after a few days, consult your dentist. Also, you should never force or snap floss between your teeth. Gum tissue is delicate and can easily be cut or bruised by aggressive flossing.
Oral Care in Langley
Even the most consistent flossers need regular professional teeth cleanings to keep their teeth and gums in good health. Our team at Amazing Smile Dental is happy to answer any questions about your oral hygiene routine. Book an appointment for a cleaning or consultation with your Langley dentist today.