Flossing Your Teeth
Why is flossing your teeth so important?
Flossing your teeth is very important to the long-term health of your teeth and gums. Only flossing your teeth can clean the surfaces in-between your teeth, something that brushing alone cannot achieve. If you’re not flossing your teeth, you’re not removing food particles which gather between your teeth. This leads to cavity formation known as interproximal cavities. Plus, regular floss helps prevent gum disease. It turns out that flossing your teeth is just as important as brushing them, especially as we get older.
What is the correct way to floss my teeth?
Flossing your teeth the right way can be challenging, especially at the beginning. In fact, few people floss their teeth the correct way. To start, grab a long enough piece of dental floss, one which is about 12 to 18 inches long. Roll the floss firmly around your two index fingers, making sure to get a tight grip to give you full control. Pass the dental floss carefully through each gap in-between your teeth. As you go in, carefully wiggle the floss left and right against adjacent teeth to hug the tooth surfaces. Your objective is to remove the plaque which has gathered in-between the teeth surfaces.
How long does flossing your teeth take?
Flossing your teeth correctly takes a while, typically a few minutes. No shortcuts allowed, as flossing two gaps at once is ineffective and doesn’t clean teeth properly. Be sure to floss only one gap at a time. Spend a few seconds flossing each gap before moving on to the next one. Once you’ve cleaned each gap, roll the floss around your finger and proceed to the next one. Pay attention to clean the area behind your furthest positioned teeth as well. Avoid rushing through the process or you could end up leaving plenty of plaque behind!
Are floss-picks as effective as regular dental floss?
Floss-picks are not nearly as effective as traditional dental floss. Using a hand held floss-pick should not be a substitute for daily flossing. However, floss-picks are an acceptable supplement to your daily flossing routine, especially when regular flossing is inconvenient. For example, it’s acceptable to use floss-picks when at work, on lunch break or when you’re out and about. The only exception is if you’re incapable of using regular dental floss due to some sort of disability. such as chronic pain, carpel tunnel or arthritis in your hands. In these cases, you can use floss-picks instead of dental floss to clean your teeth daily.
Is it a bad sign if my gums bleed during flossing?
Generally, bleeding gums are a sign of gum disease which means that you should see your dentist for a dental cleaning right away. If your teeth continue to bleed even after your dental cleaning, continue to floss every day. Gradually, your bleeding will slow down and stop. If your bleeding go away within a few weeks, this is a sign that your gums have healed. On the other hand, if the bleeding continues or gets worse, then you must follow-up with your dentist.
To learn more about flossing your teeth, schedule an appointment with us. Call (949) 481-2540 or book your visit online today. Our dentist, Dr. Jazayeri, will review your flossing techniques to see if you’re flossing correctly. We will offer you advise on how to improve your flossing techniques and make recommendations as necessary.