How to Floss your Teeth
Taking care of your teeth is essential in order to have good oral health. After all, when it comes to your teeth, you should always want a happy and bright smile! The trick to keeping your smile healthy, white and fresh is by flossing on a daily basis. Flossing removes food and plaque build up that’s stuck in hard to reach places.
When it comes to taking care of your teeth, flossing is definitely more important that brushing, but as a dentist we get told excuses by patients on why they don’t floss…
Excuse No. 1: Food doesn’t get stuck in my teeth.
Flossing doesn’t just remove food from your teeth, it does a lot more than just that! Flossing actually removes plaque from your teeth, which is a bacterial film. This film can form along your gum line and between teeth. If this plaque is left alone to build up, overtime you’ll be left with gum disease and tooth loss. So instead of saying food doesn’t get stuck in your teeth, start flossing and prevent gum disease and tooth loss from occurring.
Excuse No. 2: I don’t know how to floss.
We understand that flossing isn’t a very fun or easy personal grooming task, but it is definitely worth learning.
How to floss your teeth:
- Use 18 inches of floss and wrap a couple inches of it around the middle finger of one hand, and a few more inches on the other hand’s middle finger.
- By grasping the floss between your forefinger and thumb, you’ll use a rubbing motion to guide it between your teeth.
- Once the floss reaches your gum line, follow the shape of the tooth, forming a C.
- While you’re between each tooth, it’s important to hold the strand firmly against the tooth, and move the floss up and down gently.
- Repeat this process for every tooth and don’t be afraid to change out for fresh floss along the way!
Excuse No. 3: I don’t have enough coordination to floss.
The problem with flossing is that it isn’t very easy. We understand that you may not be able to reach the back of your mouth to floss correctly. Great tools that you can use instead include:
- Plastic, disposable flossers that give you more reach
- Pointed, rubber tips
- Small, round brushes
- Interdental cleaners, wooden or plastic pics
When should kids start flossing teeth?
Children should start flossing their teeth as soon as they have two that touch! Just make sure you’re helping them until they’re about 11 years old.
Excuse No. 4: I don’t have time!
Flossing at least once a day doesn’t take long, but flossing twice daily is best. In order to make sure you have time, you need to start putting it in your daily routine. If you’re a forgetful individual, it’s a great idea to store your floss alongside your toothbrush and toothpaste to help you remember.
You know where your teeth are, so remember that it’s okay to floss while you’re not in front of a mirror. Keep floss with you on the go, like in your car, at work or in places around the house. Plus, you never know when you’ll have embarrassing food stuck in your teeth that you’ll need help removing with the assistance of floss.
Excuse No. 5: My teeth are too close together!
If you’re having trouble with the current floss you have, try glide or waxed floss. If that doesn’t work, you can try a threader or loop to find an easier entry point along your gum line. If the floss shreds when you floss your teeth, it’s smart to have your dentist take a look at your teeth, because shredding floss is a sign of dental issues such as a cavity or broken crown.