Let’s face it. Not many people enjoy flossing. It’s a tedious process that can sometimes seem like it’s not making a difference in your oral care at all.
But, that doesn’t stop dentists from telling us that we need to be flossing every day. It’s still a great thing that you can do for your oral health. But how are you supposed to floss? Is it really supposed to be something that we do every day?
To help you with some great flossing tips, we wrote this blog post. In this post, you’ll find 5 flossing tips to impress your dentist.
Flossing Tips to Keep Your Smile Bright
You might think you’ve got flossing down to a science, but until you read through these tips you won’t know what you don’t know.
1) You Don’t Need to Use String Floss
One of the reasons people don’t get started with flossing is because they can’t stand the standard string floss. String floss has been around for what seems like forever, but that doesn’t mean it’s the product that you have to use to clean your teeth. There are plenty of other tools that you can use to floss and help create good flossing habits.
Floss picks are a popular second to the traditional string floss, and they work great to remove lodged food and plaque build-up from between teeth and around gums.
Water flossing a less invasive way to floss. But unlike both string floss and floss picks, this floss uses a handheld device to spray water into your mouth. The water that comes out at high pressure can help to dislodge food and plaque similar to the way that floss does.
2) Use Proper Techniques
After you’ve decided on the material that you’ll use to floss, you’ll need to develop the proper techniques. Knowing how to floss is another common struggle of many. Here is a step by step of how to floss with traditional string floss:
- Start flossing by taking roughly 18 inches of floss.
- Wrap the floss around your fingers so that 2 inches is left for your teeth.
- Hold the floss tight with your thumb and index fingers.
- Place the floss in between two teeth and glide it up and down against the teeth. (Be careful not to glide the floss into your gums.)
- As the floss reaches, curve it into a C-shape. This will allow you to floss the space between your gums and your teeth.
- Repeat these steps as you move from tooth to tooth, and be sure to use a new portion of the floss as you do.
These proper techniques will help you to floss correctly and remove the majority of all food particles as well as plaque all the way up to your gum line. The advantage of following these practices instead of using pick floss or water floss is that you’ll be able to floss right up to your gum line and around the base of your teeth. Other flossing methods won’t allow you to get into that area as well.
3) Don’t “Snap” Your Floss
Snapping your floss in and out of each tooth can damage your teeth more than you’d think. If you use the proper technique of sliding floss in and out of your teeth, you won’t be using too much force and possibly damaging your gums.
As you floss more regularly, most people notice that it becomes a bit easier and more smooth. Ensuring that you don’t snap the floss in and out of your teeth will help to keep your gums healthy and your teeth clean!
4) Take Your Time
Another common complaint of those who’d rather not floss is that flossing takes a lot of time. Most are correct in their assumption of this. Flossing does take a bit of time and can seem like a bother. But the reason that it’s often encouraged by dentists is because of the preventive value that it adds to your oral habits. Tooth decay isn’t always prevented from brushing. But, when flossing is added into the mix, it often helps to prevent long-term oral health problems better.
On average, flossing should take you roughly 5 minutes. Be cautious not to floss for too long, as it can lead to damaged gums and bleeding in your mouth. Just like brushing too long will have negative effects, so will flossing.
But don’t let the 5 minutes a day that it takes keep you from flossing. Doing it faster than that doesn’t hurt.
5) Don’t Forget Your Gums
We’ve emphasized the importance of flossing around gums quite a bit. But why is it important to floss gums? One of the main reasons you’ll want to remember to floss around your gums is because it helps to prevent gum disease. The first few times that you floss, your gums may bleed slightly, but that’s normal. Dental floss is a soft string, and over time your gums will build up a resistance to the floss and become accustomed to flossing.
If you don’t use dental floss in your oral hygiene routine, then there is a pretty good chance that you’ll develop some gum or tooth problems in the future. Protecting your teeth and gum line with flossing should be one of your top priorities. You’re only given one set of teeth, and keeping them healthy throughout your life is essential.
6 Common Questions for Dentists
As a dentist, we get asked regularly about different techniques and services we provide. Here are some of the most common questions we’re asked.
1) Does Flossing Work?
The truth is, flossing does help clean your teeth and get rid of particles of food and plague in the harder-to-reach places.
This Wired article, which was written in rebuttal of an NPR article a few years ago that said flossing does nothing, sums up the debate well.
While recently it has been made public that there isn’t a lot (if any) substantial evidence to prove that flossing prevents decay and disease, there isn’t any evidence that proves that it doesn’t. While that may not be the best argument, it’s currently as good as it gets.
As Wired points out, a thorough study to figure out just how effective flossing is would be extremely costly — estimated to cost nearly $10 million. The National Institutes of Health, which would be the likely funder of the study, just doesn’t have that money to give.
“And so dentists keep recommending flossing. After all, it’s a low-risk, low-cost addition to a dental hygiene regimen,” concludes the article.
So folks, sorry to say it, but you should keep flossing regardless of what you read on the internet.
2) What Is the Best Toothpaste?
This is a fair question, as dental health is extremely important and you want to make sure you’re giving your teeth the best care possible. But it’s another nearly impossible question to answer because what may work for someone, might not work for another.
If you have sensitive teeth, then you may want to try a toothpaste that is made for sensitive teeth. Those options might not be the right choice for someone who wants toothpaste that will help them whiten their teeth.
If you’re just looking for the most effective paste out there, here is a good place to start: The Best Toothpaste on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers.
3) Is Laser Dentistry a Good Alternative to Traditional Methods?
Absolutely! You may think that we are biased here at Wayzata Dental because we offer this type of service, but there is a reason we chose this method to treat our patients. Because it works!
The laser can quickly and effectively correct existing issues in your tooth, but there are other benefits as well. An added benefit is that it changes the structure of the tooth, making it is more resistant to future issues.
Contact us today to set up an appointment — Trust us, once you go laser dentistry, you never go back!
4) How Effective Is Mouthwash?
Unlike flossing, the effectiveness of mouthwash and rinse is much more conclusive.
Studies in the past have shown that people using mouthwash can reduce plaque in their mouth by 26% and gingivitis by 20% with germ-killing mouthwash.
Plus, if we’re being honest, you just can’t beat that minty-fresh feeling after swishing the rinse around for 30 seconds.
Feel great and keep your mouth healthy with mouthwash by using it daily!
5) What Are Dental Sealants?
A sealant is a specially made coating that will be applied to your teeth by being brushed onto the teeth as it quickly bonds in the depressions.
This will shield your enamel from any harmful bacteria or plaque building up.
6) When Should I Consider Getting a Dental Crown?
There are many different reasons for getting a dental crown, including:
- To protect a weak tooth from breakage or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
- To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
- To cover or support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth structure left
- To make a cosmetic modification
For more information on why you should get a dental crown, visit this page here.
Choose Wayzata Dental as Your Premium Dental Provider
At Wayzata Dental, we love seeing patients come in that have worked hard to keep their teeth clean. Of course, some patients struggle to floss consistently but don’t let that throw you off. We’re happy to help and give you quick flossing how-tos, explanations, and tips.
To learn more about Wayzata Dental, visit our website. You’ll be able to see our services and how we use laser dental technology to provide each and every patient with a pain-free dental experience. Reach out to us to learn more or to book an appointment!