Unless you’ve gotten into the habit of flossing every night, it can be difficult to start working into your routine. Your teeth may seem too crowded. This often results in flossing being a painful task that you may not even think is doing your mouth any good. However, if you’re only brushing your teeth before bed, you’re doing your mouth a major disservice. Even the best brushing techniques will never be enough to replace flossing.
Here is what Dr. Fatemeh Hadjian, DDS of Palm Desert, CA recommends for a healthier mouth.
First: Pick Your Instrument
In that past, floss was sold as a long string that could be wrapped around the fingers and then manipulated through the space of each tooth. But times have changed. One of the new trends in flossing today involves individual plastic handles with a small piece of floss stretched over the top. While these are incredibly convenient, the handle ultimately doesn’t allow for the same amount of flexibility as the traditional approach. So while these newfangled instruments are better than nothing, dentists agree you should stick with the original methods and not cut corners with the new products on the market.
When it comes to the type of floss to pick, you can use either nylon or single-filament. Both are equally effective, but nylon has a tendency to break. Single-filament costs more because it’s stronger. It’s highly recommended if you have tighter teeth that may be difficult to fit the floss between. Dr. Fatemeh Hadjian DDS in Palm Desert, CA, can help you find brands that are effective and comfortable.
Starting from Scratch
Measure out about 18 inches of floss (approximately), and then use each of your middle fingers to secure the string by winding it around several times. There only needs to be about an inch and a half of floss between your fingers for it work properly (or even less.) Insert the floss between your teeth as gently as possible, and then slide it in a vertical motion to rid your mouth of any food particles or plaque left over from brushing. Use your thumb and index fingers to keep the floss tight as you move it.
Tips on Better Movements
Your gums are fairly sensitive, but you’ll get the best results if you go under the gum line. The floss needs to be curved around the bottom of your teeth, and it needs to hit the base of the gum for each stroke. If you’re too harsh during this process, you’ll end up hurting the tissue of your gums which can weaken them over time. Move the floss back and forth as well as up and down to pull the floss out.
While it’s clear that flossing will take a commitment from you, it’s one of the best to clean your mouth. Not only does it take care of everything that may have been left behind, it can actually stave off gum disease and tooth decay.
If you have questions about better ways to brush your teeth, Dr. Fatemeh Hadjian in Palm Dessert can help you today. She may even be able to suggest alternative methods if you find flossing too time-consuming. Our office is here to help everyone get the best possible care they need.