Step 1: Pick your floss
If you have tight teeth where you are struggling to get the floss in between your teeth then you’ll benefit from and satin/glide floss that is almost like a tape that will easily glide in between your teeth without frustration.
If you cannot properly hold string floss in your hands or have trouble reaching your back molars than floss picks are great for you. It is a piece of floss attached to a little handle that makes reaching your back teeth comfortable.
If you don’t have tight teeth or problems reaching your back molars than regular waxed floss is ideal for you.
Step 2: The technique
This is the most important step of all! You want to effectively clean in between your teeth, remove bacteria, food and plaque without causing trauma to your gums. When flossing, it is critical to wrap/hug the floss around the tooth and scrape the tooth in an up and down motion. If you just snap the floss up and down in between the teeth, not only are you cutting and making your gums bleed but you are not removing the bacteria or hard deposit. Have you ever notice a yellowish staining in between your lower front teeth? This is caused by not wrapping the floss around the tooth. If you are not removing the soft deposit from your teeth, your saliva has minerals in it that calcify the soft deposit into hard deposit. The only way to remove the hard deposit/tarter is to see your dental hygienist and they have the proper tools to remove it. You want to remove it before it becomes hard deposit/tarter!
I cannot stress enough how super important flossing is to your gingival health and teeth. Proper flossing with daily brushing will allow you to keep your teeth for a lifetime. Dentures and loose teeth are not a part of getting older. This is caused by a lack of brushing and flossing. The future of your teeth and gums is in your hands and I hope we have motivated you enough to incorporate flossing into your daily routine.
Natasha Kopa RDH, BS, AS