Everyone knows that when they go to the dentist they will be asked, “How often do you floss?”
Many people don’t want to confess that they don’t actually floss very often, or that they don’t know how to floss properly — and some patients are too embarrassed to ask how to floss.
At Harmony Dental, we want everyone to understand the reasons for flossing and the best techniques.
Here are some important things to keep in mind when it comes to flossing your teeth:
Top 5 reasons for flossing your teeth
- Flossing helps to remove food and sticky bacteria from your teeth.
- Flossing helps to reduce plaque build-up.
- Flossing helps to reduce the incidence of tooth decay.
- Flossing helps to have healthier gum tissue.
- Flossing helps to remove particles that can create mouth odour.
The Canadian Dental Association recommends the following:
- Be gentle when flossing. Don’t ram the floss down between your teeth and risk cutting your gums.
- Don’t use too little floss. You should have enough length to equal the distance from your hand to your shoulder.
- Curve the floss into a ‘C’ shape in order to get around the shape of your tooth and slide gently under the gumline.
- Don’t forget to floss both sides of each tooth.
- Ensure you rinse off the floss after flossing each tooth to prevent moving bacteria from one tooth to the next.
- It is best to floss and then brush. This allows for any loosened debris to be brushed away.
- Start flossing your child’s teeth as soon as at least two teeth are touching each other.
- Floss picks are a good way to get children to learn how to floss.
- If you have orthodontic devices in your mouth, you still need to floss. Although trickier, you can still feed the floss under your wires to get to the gumline.
- Floss regularly. If you cannot do it every day, aim for three to four times a week.
Some people experience bleeding when flossing. There are several reasons why this could be happening. You may be too rough, your floss may be shredding or snagging on a filling (try waxed floss), or you may be in the early stages of periodontal disease.
For more information about flossing and your oral health, call Harmony Dental. We’ll take the time to discuss your dental needs and answer any questions you may have.