Tips for Flossing: Improving Your Oral Hygiene

Flossing Tips - Woodinville, WA

Nov 8, 2016 — by Cristin Dowd, DDS
Tags: General Dentistry Oral Hygiene

A woman smiling and using dental flossHere at Signature Smiles, we believe in giving patients the information they need to have a healthier and more beautiful smile. This focus on patient education and preventive dentistry is part of what makes us a leading dental care provider in the Woodinville area.

We want to go back to some dental care fundamental in this post. Specifically, we want to talk about flossing. It's definitely something important that people should be doing more often.

Why Flossing is So Important

While there has been some discussion in the news that debates the importance of flossing, we can say with confidence that flossing is an important part of a good oral hygiene routine. Flossing allows you to clean the spacing between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach, removing food particles and plaque buildup.

Flossing is a crucial part of fighting cavities as well as gum disease, and it's something you should be doing regularly.

How Often Should I Floss?

At the very least, people should floss once every night before bed, typically before brushing your teeth. For the best possible results, you should brush and floss after every meal. This helps prevent plaque buildup throughout the course of your day.

Is There a Right Kind of Dental Floss?

While you can technically use any kind of dental floss, there are some types of floss that may be more ideal than others.

You'll at the very least want to consider the use of a waxed dental floss, which is less likely to break or fray from use. If there are very narrow spaces between your teeth, it may be better to use teflon floss/fluoride-coated floss or unwaxed floss.

Dental tape is also worth considering. This floss is broader and flatter, which helps when trying to clean between narrowly spaced teeth.

There are other floss variations, but we will get to them in a moment.

It's All in the Technique

When flossing, be sure to use slow, soft, back and forth movements and you move the floss up and down the spaces between your teeth. Use your fingers to carefully hug the sides of each tooth, working upwards and out of the gap. Repeat for every tooth, and be sure to also get behind those rear molars with your floss.

Be Gentle Yet Thorough

Aggressive flossing can cause bleeding gums and eventual gum recession if you are not careful. Be sure to gently place floss between your teeth rather than snapping the floss between your teeth. When the floss is down at the gumline, do not saw the gums back and forth but instead focus on the teeth. This will allow you to avoid a number of oral hygiene issues down the line related to damaged gum tissue.

Floss Threaders for Braces

If you have braces or any sort of orthodontia that makes traditional flossing much more difficult, it's important to consider floss threaders. These stiff loops allow you to thread floss between teeth with your braces in place so you can continue to clean between your teeth with relative ease.

Special Floss for Bridges, Dentures, and Dental Implants

If you have dental implants or special bridgework or dentures in place, it's a good idea to consider getting super floss to help with the cleaning process. Super floss has a spongy portion in the middle portion of the floss that is thicker than traditional dental floss. With super floss, you can clean the spaces between teeth and around dental work with ease, without doing harm to your teeth or gums.

Contact Signature Smiles

To learn more about good oral hygiene practices and how you can make your smile look and fell excellent, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team at Signature Smiles looks forward to your visit and discussing these matters in greater detail.

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