Let's Get Flossing!
Flossing! Not just a viral dance trend sweeping the internet… Flossing is an extremely important step in looking after your teeth and should be done at least once a day before or after brushing. It is something people find all too easy to overlook but we’ve compiled some tips and tricks to help you through.
Firstly, why floss?
Brushing your teeth only removes plaque from the front and back of your teeth. Flossing, allows you to access the plaque that lives between your teeth and underneath you gums. This area makes up 35% of your tooth surface that is totally missed by not flossing. The most damaging bacteria lives here in these hard-to-reach places.
How do I floss?
As we’re growing up, a lot of emphasis is placed on how to correctly brush our teeth but the same time is not given to learning the techniques of flossing! So, we’re going back to basics for you:
Get yourself a clean strip of between 18 - 24 inches of floss.
Wrap most around the middle finger of one hand and the rest around your other middle finger.
Then pinch the floss tightly between your thumb and forefinger.
Use a rubbing motion to guide the floss between your tooth, starting in the same place each time and working your way through each tooth so you don’t lose your place!
When the floss reaches your gum, form a ‘C’ with the floss around the base of the tooth and move it gently up and down.
Use fresh sections of the floss for each tooth, working your way through the strip.
Be careful not to force the floss or snap it, this can hurt your gum tissue!
Use the same rubbing motion to bring the piece of floss back up to the top and repeat with the next tooth.
Keep in mind!
If flossing makes your gums bleed or is painful, don’t give up! If you work it into your daily routine, your gums will get healthier. This should happen within a week or two.
There are different types of floss available - waxed or unwaxed, thicker floss. Try out a couple to make sure you have the best floss for you.
If for some reason, you find flossing very difficult, speak to your dentist about it. There are a number of other tools like dental picks or pre-threaded flossers that may make it easier for you.
By teaching your children to floss from an early age, we can change their approach to their oral health as adults. Children do need to floss but you may need to help them until they can do it themselves. At about 10 or 11, they should be ready to take it on themselves.
Ready for your next dental check-up? Book an appointment in your local clinic now.