Whether it’s the tedious nature of the task or the fact that it irritates your gums, most people don’t floss every day, even though your dentist recommends you do.
Flossing your teeth removes harmful plaque and bacteria that brushing alone cannot reach. If plaque builds up on your teeth, it eats away at the enamel and causes tooth decay and gum disease.
While there are no shortcuts to flossing, understanding the proper way to do it and the best floss to use can make this everyday task a little easier. Let’s take a look:
The reason that many people hate flossing is that it hurts their gums. If you’re flossing correctly, it shouldn’t. A basic review of how to use dental floss might help.
Break off about 45cm of dental floss and wind it around your index fingers on both hands. Gently guide the floss between each tooth using a sawing motion. Once it reaches the gums, make a C shape around one tooth and guide the floss upwards. This removes the plaque from that side of the tooth.
The biggest mistake that people make is snapping the floss toward the gums instead of gently guiding it along the sides of the teeth.
Aim to floss once a day, usually at night before bed to remove all of food that’s built up during the day. Flossing before brushing is the best practice because it allows you to brush away the loose plaque.
Even though it seems like a tedious part of your nightly routine, regularly skipping out on the dental floss increases your risk of developing periodontal disease, or gum disease.
There are two main kinds of dental floss on the market, each with its own benefits: multifilament and monofilament. Multifilament floss either comes waxed or unwaxed. The waxed kind easily glides between your teeth, but it is also prone to breakage. Monofilament floss is made out of plastic or rubber, so it’s usually stronger. Try both kinds in different thicknesses and flavours to find one that you like.
At your regular dental cleaning, your dental hygienist will almost always ask you if you floss your teeth regularly. Be honest!
We’re not asking to judge your hygiene habits (although we’d love if you floss every day), but rather to know if we should be worried about gum disease. If you’re not an everyday flosser, maybe your dentist can give you a different kind of floss or show you some tips to make it easier.
All this talk about gum disease might have you on the edge of your seat. Let’s ease some of those worries. You can start by flossing every day using the methods we discussed in this post. Then, schedule a cleaning appointment with your dentist! It’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you’re located in Macquarie Park, call Marsfield Dental Clinic on 02 9887 1961. We’re accepting new patients!
Disclaimer – This blog article does not constitute health advice from a dental professional. For more specific information, please seek an appointment with a dentist.
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COVID 19 Update - Oct 2021
All our members of staff - Dentists and supporting assistants - are fully vaccinated. We are a COVID-safe practice and we are open for all general dental treatment needs and services.