Dentists often like to say that flossing is just as important as brushing. Believe it or not, we don’t say this to trick you. We say it because it’s true. When you forget, or worse, ignore, your flossing you are avoiding cleaning about 35% of your tooth surface. If you’re not flossing because you find it difficult, or because you think you simply don’t have the time, we have a few helpful hints that we’ve picked up over the years to help you floss perfectly every time you pick up a string of dental floss.
The Thicker the Better:
When it comes to the type of dental floss you use, there are plenty of options. While everyone has different needs, a thicker, ribbon style of floss can help clean teeth more effectively due to its larger size. While thinner floss will work just as well, thicker varieties will make cleaning easier for those who find it difficult to spend much time flossing.
A Backstage Helper:
Another common complaint we receive about flossing is that it’s too difficult to reach the back of the mouth. We have a solution. Creatively called a “floss holder”, these plastic devices hold a small piece of floss in place, allowing you to reach the back of your mouth without needing room for your fingers. These disposable tools make flossing faster and easier for even the most “anti-flossing” people. They’re also relatively affordable.
The Proper Length:
18 inches. That’s the magic number for how much floss you should be using at one time. This gives you enough length to always use a clean section of floss and have control over the floss. Any shorter or longer, and you may have a difficult time holding the floss in place or ensuring that the section of floss your are using is clean.
Take Your Time:
Rushing your flossing can actually end up doing more harm than good. When people rush to get their flossing done, they can use too much pressure and cause damage to their gums, or miss important spots entirely. If you find yourself rushing when you floss, it’s important to remember that you don’t have time to floss improperly. Doing so can lead to periodontal disease and even tooth decay over time. Work slowly, but effectively and make sure flossing is a comfortable experience.
So there you have it. Now you’ll be able to take these tips with you the next time you floss for a cleaner, healthier smile. If you have any questions about your oral health, or need to schedule an appointment with your periodontist, contact our office today and we will be happy to assist you.