Flossing: The definitive guide
Everyone knows they should be flossing but many people are asking the same questions: When should we floss? Why should we floss? What is the best technique? The most important thing is it needs to be a part of your daily routine. If you don’t floss regularly you’re inviting plaque and gum disease. While brushing can remove bacteria on some of your teeth, flossing will clean those hard-to-reach areas. There is a wide variety of floss picks and the health benefits remain the same regardless of the floss you choose.
Pure Smiles is giving you some basic information that should set you on the path to flossing properly. So here it is – our ultimate flossing guide.
So how do you floss?
- You’ll need around 18 inches of floss. This wraps around your middle fingers so you can use your thumbs and forefingers to move the floss between the teeth.
- Gently slide the floss between your teeth and move it in a back and forth motion. Then, curve the floss into a “C” shape. Make your way from the gum line to the top of the tooth. This will help you remove any food particles.
- Remember to use a new section of floss when you move from tooth to tooth. Unroll a fresh section of floss using your index finger while rolling the used floss onto the finger of the other hand.
- Don’t forget to floss the front and back of each tooth.
How to floss with braces
When you have braces, the wires get in the way of flossing. Luckily, there are ways to make the task easier. To floss with braces, use waxed floss or a dental tape. Start by threading the floss between the wire. Once the floss is under the wire gently slide it between the teeth. Remove the floss and re-thread it when moving onto the next pair of teeth. If you wear Invisalign retainers they should be removed before flossing. Also, you may find it easier to use a water flosser. They shoot jets of water in between your teeth removing bacteria and plaque from brackets and wires. A water flosser is fast and convenient way to clean your teeth but it’s much more expensive than traditional floss picks.
Is it better to floss before or after brushing?
It doesn’t make any difference to your oral health whether you floss before or after brushing your teeth. While there are many opinions on this subject there’s no evidence to suggest the sequence should be taken into account. As long as you floss thoroughly you can do it in whatever order you choose.
Brushing and flossing regularly is the key to excellent oral health. Flossing has a number of benefits, from reducing plaque to quickly removing trapped food particles. Your gums may bleed when you first start flossing. But any bleeding should stop once your gums become accustomed to your new flossing habits. Pure Smiles Fulham is a private dentist offering a range of treatments. If you have any worries or concerns about your teeth, please contact us today. You can book an appointment or call us on 0203 613 4742.