Flossing – What No One Remembers To Do
Flossing can be an uphill battle if we let it. All that saliva, the food, the junk that comes out, not to mention those tricky areas to reach or the areas that break the floss apart. There are several reasons not to floss. Yet, there are two important reasons that should overcome all our excuses: decay and periodontal disease.
The in-between areas of our teeth are where no toothbrush can go. Our teeth have four to five sides that we clean to prevent decay. Floss is the only item that cleans two of those areas called the interproximal surfaces of our teeth. When the interproximal surfaces are not cleaned efficiently, it can lead to decay and to periodontal disease. The bacteria that cause these two conditions, if not removed, remains and grows in the warm crevices where popcorn kernels or almond skins become stuck. When we floss, we have to make sure that we do a thorough job of removing plaque, food debris, and bacteria from the in-between of our teeth.
Here are some tips for flossing as well as video demonstration
Wind 18″ of floss around middle fingers of each hand. Pinch floss between thumbs and index fingers, leaving a 1″- 2″ length in between. Use thumbs to direct floss between upper teeth.
Keep a 1″ – 2″ length of floss taut between fingers. Use index fingers to guide floss between contacts of the lower teeth.
Gently guide floss between the teeth by using a zig-zag motion. Gently wrap the floss around the side of the tooth.
Slide floss up and down against the tooth surface and under the gumline. Floss each tooth thoroughly with a clean section of floss.
Here are some suggestions from our hygienists:
Try to pair flossing with something that you do every day. ie. watching TV, putting on makeup, commercial breaks, waiting to pick up kids in the parking lot, etc.
Try different sizes or brands of floss till you find what works best for you. You may even need two different sizes for different areas of your mouth.
Use additional help to remove plaque and food debris between your teeth such as picks, flossers, superfloss, or floss threaders.
At first, your gums may bleed or be tender, but keep going! It will get better. If it doesn’t, give us a call at Aspen Dental of Cache Valley (435) 753-4400.
Trust us, your mouth will love you for it.