Your dental care plays a critical role in your overall health and well-being, and poor dental hygiene can lead to cavities, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and even infection. However, while daily brushing certainly helps keep plaque at bay, only flossing can truly remove all the food particles trapped between your teeth and below your gum line.
Without regular flossing, bacteria buildup over time can lead to inflammation, causing long-term effects such as discoloration and bad breath, along with serious systemic diseases down the road. However, while the process of regularly flossing may seem intimidating at first glance, following a few simple steps can help make this task much easier and more effective when taking care of your oral hygiene.
What Is Flossing and How Does It Work?
Flossing is an essential element of any effective dental hygiene routine. From braces to bare teeth, regular cleaning with the right type of string can significantly improve your oral health.
Flossing is a simple process that removes plaque from hard-to-reach places between your teeth. The main purpose of this routine is to clean out food particles which may have become lodged in these areas after eating or drinking.
Flossing with braces can pose an added challenge, due to the discomfort and difficulty of navigating flossing around the wires in your mouth. When flossing with braces, remember to keep in mind:
- Use waxed dental tape with metal brackets,
- Floss threaders are recommended when dealing with orthodontic bands,
- Water flossers provide an easy way to irrigate around wires and appliances,
- Electric toothbrushes help remove debris under archwires,
- Superfloss helps target food stuck between wires and in crevices.
These techniques will make it easier than ever before for you to maintain good oral hygiene while undergoing any type of orthodontic treatment.
Different Types of Floss and How to Select the Right One for Your Individual Needs
When choosing your dental floss, it’s important to consider its type, as well as its size.
Waxed or un-waxed string floss is the most common type of floss, and can be found in both narrow and wide sizes depending on your personal preference. Plastic tape may also be used, but should not replace regular string flossing, since its larger shape cannot get between teeth as smaller strings can.
For those who want an easier way to reach hard-to-reach areas, pre-threaded plastic holders are recommended instead of simply wrapping the string around your fingers. Additionally, flavoured or unflavored varieties exist, which provide some users more enjoyment during their flossing routine.
Correct Techniques for Flossing
When flossing, there are two key aspects to consider: when should you floss (before or after brushing), and how should you use the string for maximum efficacy?
When it comes to deciding whether to brush before or after flossing, there is no definitive answer – both options have their respective advantages. Brushing prior to flossing removes debris from between your teeth more effectively, while flossing beforehand may help loosen plaque buildup so that brushing afterwards becomes easier.
Ultimately, the decision is yours, depending on what works best for your individual needs.
In terms of the actual process of using a dental string, wrap most of the dental string around one finger, then wrap the remaining length around another finger – having extra leverage makes maneuvering through tight spaces easier. Next, place the middle part of the thread between your index fingers just above where they meet. This will help you control your movements as you slide up and down each side of every tooth gap.
For better grip, hold onto each end firmly but gently as if holding chopsticks; avoid sliding off either edge, otherwise you’ll miss cleaning certain areas completely!
Common Misconceptions About Flossing
When it comes to flossing regularly as part of your oral healthcare routine, there are a few misconceptions you may have that are worth clearing up.
Firstly, flossing on its own does not substitute removing food particles from your teeth, as brushing alone also cannot do the job effectively. Some may also think that a WaterPik can replace flossing, but this isn’t true – while Waterpiks work well at cleaning between teeth and gum lines, they can still leave behind small debris which must be taken care of by flossing.
Additionally, simply using mouthwash doesn’t take away plaque or anything stuck in between your teeth either – only flossing can do that!
Lastly, many people believe that they don’t need to floss if they brush their teeth twice daily. However, the fact is that no matter how much you brush, there are still areas in your mouth which require more attention than others, like your back molars where bacteria tends to accumulate due to lack of access to toothbrush bristles.
Potential Risks and How to Avoid Them
Studies have shown that only about 4 in 10 people floss daily, indicating an alarming lack of awareness when it comes to the potential risks of not properly caring for oral hygiene.
Flossing is an important part of maintaining good oral health and avoiding common dental problems such as cavities and gum disease. In order to ensure a proper cleaning routine that incorporates flossing, there are several key elements to consider:
- Rinsing: After brushing your teeth, rinse thoroughly with water or mouthwash to remove any debris from the surface of your teeth.
- Brushing: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to help reduce plaque build-up on the surfaces between your teeth. Be sure to use short strokes when brushing and brush gently along the gums.
- Flossing: Using dental floss helps remove food particles stuck between tight spaces where bristles cannot reach. Take care when using dental floss; be gentle but firm enough to dislodge trapped food particles without damaging delicate gum tissue.
- Rinsing Again: This step ensures all residual bacteria have been removed from your mouth before proceeding to other activities throughout your day.
By following these steps regularly, you can avoid common dental complications while keeping your mouth healthy and clean.
Tips for Making Flossing a Regular Part of Your Oral Hygiene Routine
Brushing and rinsing alone is not enough to keep your teeth healthy – incorporating a daily flossing routine is the best way to achieve a good standard of dental health.
When flossing, make sure to establish a schedule, flossing at least once per day around each tooth for maximum effect. Consider setting an alarm as a reminder, or making it part of your nighttime prep routine. It’s also important to make sure you choose the right tools by selecting quality dental products such as waxed string or pre-strung picks, which help prevent gums from bleeding and allow easier access between teeth.
How Often Should You Be Flossing?
When considering how often you should be flossing, remember to floss at least once every day to remove plaque build-up from in between your teeth, moving the floss gently back and forth against each side of the tooth for optimal cleaning. Use fresh sections of floss when moving from tooth to tooth, and take care not to snap or force the floss too hard, as this may cause irritation to your gums.
Regularly flossing will help you maintain good dental health by removing food particles that brushing alone cannot reach, and is also essential for preventing gum inflammation caused by bacteria accumulating around your teeth and below your gum line.
How Flossing Helps Prevent Gum Disease and Tooth Decay
Proper brushing techniques can remove plaque from the surfaces of your teeth – however, food particles can still often become stuck between your teeth where brushes cannot reach them, making regular flossing an important part of any daily oral hygiene regimen.
Flossing helps clear away bacteria-laden plaque which may cause inflammation and infection if left unchecked. Additionally, studies suggest that flossing combined with other methods, such as fluoride rinses, can help prevent cavities by decreasing the levels of acidity in your mouth caused by bacterial breakdown of carbohydrates and proteins.
All in all, flossing regularly is an essential part of maintaining your oral health. At Dawson Dental, our team of professionals is here for you to help you keep your smile bright and healthy. Reach out to our office today to schedule your consultation with one of our expert dentists!