You’ve been brushing twice each day, keeping up with your dental appointments, and watching your sugar intake. What else can you do to make your smile even healthier? Floss! At Mitchell Dentistry, we understand how busy you are and how easy it is to “forget” this essential step. But we highly recommend flossing once per day to rid your mouth of the plaque that can build up between your teeth – flossing is very effective when done correctly. Thanks to the American Dental Association, here are five easy steps and an accompanying video to help you get into the habit.
1. Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty.
2. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.
3. Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Never snap the floss into the gums.
4. When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.
5. Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget the back side of your last tooth.
Once you’re finished, throw the floss away. A used piece of floss won’t be as effective and could leave bacteria behind in your mouth.
With many options out there, are you wondering what kind of floss you should use? Here’s what our hygiene team recommends:
If you have normal contacts between your teeth, use unwaxed floss
If the floss frays, try using waxed floss
And if you have very tight contacts between your teeth, use Glide
We hope you find these tips helpful for your oral healthcare routine. As always, please let us know if you have any questions or feedback.
Dr. Jim, Dr. Yolanda, Dr. Joe, and Dr. Helen
SOURCE: American Dental Association