Flossing is an important part of your daily oral care routine. It’s something people often neglect, either because they dislike it or see it as too time consuming. Here are some tips to help you establish and maintain a flossing routine so you can keep your mouth happy!
find a routine that works for you
You need to find a routine that suits you, but here are some basic tips to help you work out what flossing routine will work for you.
- Find a time that suits you. It’s important not to rush your floss. This is because you can do damage to your gums or miss plaque in the process. Giving yourself enough time will help you do it properly and consistently. This may mean not doing it in the morning when you get ready, but doing it in the evening before bed. You may also be able to floss when you’re doing other things.
- You can floss on the go. If standing in front of the bathroom mirror for an extended period is not your thing, you can actually floss in a number of different situations and environments. You could floss while you shower, watch TV or are sitting at a computer.
- Give yourself a reminder. Use something to remind you to do it every day. Whether it be a post-it note on your mirror, an alarm or an app… just something to remind you if you’re likely to forget.
use the right technique
Using the right technique is important to make sure you don’t hurt your gums and it cleans your teeth like you want it to. The basic principles of the technique are about cleaning the parts of the teeth that brushing can’t reach. Many people floss with a ‘sawing’ motion between their teeth. This is an inefficient flossing technique that can cause damage to your gums. This is what you need to do…
Gripping the floss between your thumbs and index fingers either side of the tooth (if you’re using string), you need to wrap the floss in a C shape around a tooth.
Then you gently move the floss up and down the tooth, being careful not to push hard down into the gums.
Do this on either side of each and every tooth with a new piece of floss each time. Why do you need to use new pieces of floss? It’s not to be wasteful. The floss you use holds bacteria and debris from between your teeth. Reusing floss simply introduces this material to your other teeth instead of effectively cleaning them.
Your dentist is the best person to go to for targeted advice about flossing. They know your mouth and will be able to help you find the best routine, recommend the right tools, and teach you the best technique for you. Our dentists at Butler Dental will happily chat with you about your needs to help you floss like a boss. Simply book online.
find the tools that work best for you
There are a number of flossing tools on the market these days and different tools will suit different people for different reasons. If you’re having trouble using a particular tool, you should try another until you find one that works for you. Here are some options:
- Floss string – There is a large variety of floss string on the market. You can speak to our dentists about what we would recommend for you.
- Floss pick – These can be great for people who have trouble holding the string. The string in floss picks is suspended between two prongs and gives you a length of string to move up and down the sides of your teeth.
- Interdental brushes – Also referred to as interdental cleaners or interdental tips – these are bristled picks and come in a variety of sizes suitable for a wide range of gaps. Interdental tools can be useful alongside flossing to help remove debris and plaque.
- Floss threader – These are useful for people with braces and permanent retainers as they help you manoeuvre floss string using a loop.
understand the benefits of flossing
There are many health benefits to flossing as part of your daily routine, and some might surprise you.
Flossing removes plaque and debris from the surface of your teeth where brushing cannot reach. This reduces the risk of cavities and decay in these hard to reach areas.
Flossing on a daily basis can also reduce bad breath and the yellowing of teeth in hard-to-reach areas.
Getting your floss on is as much about gum health as it is about reducing the risk of cavities in your teeth. Flossing regularly can reduce gum disease and help you maintain bacteria-free healthy gums. More-so, unhealthy gums can lead to other health issues like heart disease. Your gums are full of great little blood vessels, but the presence of bacteria near the gums can lead to this bacteria entering your bloodstream and causing other health problems. Poor gum health can lead to heart disease and a greater risk of heart attack or stroke.
summing up how to floss like a boss
Making time for flossing is incredibly important, and flossing properly is also incredibly important. Establishing a routine that works for you and getting the technique right can greatly improve your chances of success.
Learning how to floss like a boss will improve your general health, and also give you some confidence boosting bonuses.
If you’re unsure about what the right flossing tools are for you, or what technique will help you care for your mouth, give some tools a try to see what works for you. Alternatively, you can come in and speak to our dentists who will be more than happy to help you be the boss of your floss.