You’ve heard it countless times from your dentist in South Windsor, CT: you need to floss. If you brush and use mouthwash every day, it can be tempting to think that you don’t need to do this small task. Does it really do that much anyway? Is it really that important? Yes, flossing has a huge impact on your oral health! Plaque is a sticky substance that can accumulate between your teeth. Flossing is the best way to ensure that harmful bacteria in plaque don’t cause problems like gum disease or teeth decay in those hard-to-reach areas.
Flossing doesn’t have to be difficult or unpleasant. In fact, in fact it shouldn’t be! Here are some ways to make implementing flossing into your daily routine easier and better.
Learn to Do It Right
It seems like such a simple task, but most people don’t floss correctly. Here is the gist of how to floss properly:
- Use a piece of floss that is about 18 inches long.
- Wind most of the strand around one middle finger and the rest around the other.
- Between your thumb and forefinger, hold the string tightly in each hand.
- Using a side-to-side rubbing motion, guide the floss between your teeth to the gum. Do not snap the floss—that can cause damage to your gums.
- When the floss reaches the gums, curve the floss in a C shape to follow the tooth.
- Move the floss gently up and down against the sides of each tooth.
- Remove the floss and use a fresh section of floss.
- Repeat the process for your entire mouth, including behind your teeth in the back.
The next time you’re in the dentist chair for your checkup and cleaning, you can ask your hygienist to demonstrate the proper technique if needed.
Do It Gently
Your gums may bleed when you first start out flossing, but that should pass within a week or two. To help alleviate some sensitivity in the beginning, be especially gentle in your flossing. Again, use a rubbing motion. If you have crowded teeth, it can be difficult to get the floss between your teeth, but you can use a thin, waxed floss to make it easier for yourself.
If you continue to bleed even after two weeks of flossing, contact your dentist in South Windsor, CT.
Many people claim that they don’t have time to floss their teeth, but in reality flossing can save you time in the future. Flossing now can prevent the need for extensive treatment for tooth decay and gum disease later. By taking just a minute or two each day to floss your teeth, you can avoid having to sit in the dentist chair for longer than you need to.
If you struggle with forgetting, try putting a note on your mirror and place the floss next to your toothbrush to remind you.
Take It with You
Who says flossing has to happen only at home? Put a floss container in your bag or in your desk at work so that you’re prepared, especially for those times when you get food stuck in your teeth from lunch.
By making the choice to floss every day, you help prevent gum disease and tooth decay. These tips can help you overcome whatever hurdles are in the way of your flossing and integrate this habit into your daily life. Make the necessary change to impact your oral health in the long term and help you keep your smile happy and healthy for many years to come.
About the Author
At South Windsor Dental, Dr. Sara Curcio has been delivering expert dental care for nearly ten years. She was voted by her peers as one of Connecticut’s Top Dentists in 2013 and volunteers with Give Kids a Smile. She and her team are dedicated to making dental visits as enjoyable as possible for patients of all ages. To contact her for an appointment, you can call (860) 644-2476 or click here.