Most of us are making efforts daily to take care of our teeth. Chances are, you’re brushing twice a day for the recommended two-minute minimum. You may be using a fluoride mouthwash right after you brush when it’s most effective. But is proper flossing part of your routine?
Across Canada, it’s reported that only 16 percent floss regularly — and nearly a third don’t floss at all. While proper, regular brushing will help give you a lifetime of healthy teeth, flossing is an important aspect of oral care that shouldn’t be ignored. If you want to give your teeth the care they deserve, these flossing tips will greatly contribute to their appearance and durability.
Make It an Evening Activity
One of the many benefits salivae provides is its ability to dilute and wash away bacteria that can harm your teeth. However, when you sleep, the amount of saliva in your mouth decreases. You want to make sure your teeth are as clean as possible before bedtime, and flossing when you brush at night will go a long way to help.
Flossing every morning and evening is great for oral care, but the general consensus is that once a day is effective enough to make a difference. So if you’re only doing it once, make sure it’s at night.
Use a Floss Appropriate for Your Teeth
When shopping for dental floss, you’ve no doubt seen the variety of options available. For flossing to be as effective as possible, you may need to try different types out to see which works best for you. Here’s a good guide to follow:
Are your teeth close together? Does your floss wind up shredding during use? Try using a waxed or Teflon floss.
If teeth are spaced a little further apart, pick up a brand that’s thicker.
Standard, unwaxed floss tends to spread and flatten out during use, which can increase its effectiveness. It’s a great choice if your teeth have average spacing.
Do you have mobility issues, or find it tricky to use regular thread floss effectively? Try using a floss holder or handle, or pick up pre-threaded alternatives.
Floss Before Brushing, and Rinse Afterward
When you floss, you’re removing the bulk of plaque and particles that have built up over time. Make sure you get rid of these before brushing, so it can thoroughly clean the entire surface of your teeth. Also, flossing may pull these materials out of tight spaces but leave them on teeth, so take the time to rinse your mouth right after. This will help remove them and make brushing even more effective.
Floss With a Curve
If you’re using traditional floss, it’s common to pull it taut and straight between your fingers. However, it’s recommended that you give it just enough slack to bend around each tooth. Don’t think of flossing as cleaning a space between two teeth — think of it as cleaning one side of each tooth.
By curving it around the tooth, you’re greatly increasing the amount of surface the floss can clean. Use this technique each time you slide floss between two teeth, and you’ll more than double the area you’re cleaning.
Make the time every single day to properly floss and brush, and you’ll do wonders for the health and life of your teeth. To learn more about proper dental care, or to schedule an appointment with our dentists in Grande Prairie, contact Gateway Dentistry Group today!