Are you one of those diligent people who brush their teeth twice daily, however only think to floss when you feel the discomfort of food caught between your teeth? Perhaps you have never considered the importance of flossing.
Why do it?
Flossing should be an essential part of your daily oral care routine. It does about 40% of the work to remove the plaque and food debris that adheres in-between your teeth and gums, which helps prevent gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath.
Who should floss?
Flossing is not just for adults. Children should begin cleaning between their teeth as soon as they have two teeth in contact. For most kids, the only place in contact (and the most common area of decay I see in kids’ teeth) is between their back baby molars. As they don’t have the manual dexterity required to floss correctly, it’s best if they are helped by an adult until they are 8-10 years of age.
Flossing is extremely important for those fitted with orthodontic braces, however the process needs to be done gently to avoid damaging the braces. A floss threader and interdental brushes are a helpful alternative to usual dental floss.
If your gums bleed when you first start flossing, provided the bleeding stops quickly it’s unlikely to be a problem. Continue with daily flossing and you should see an improvement. However, if bleeding continues to reoccur we recommend you make an appointment with your dentist for a check-up.
What to use?
It depends on your personal preference and the recommendation of your dentist -
- Waxed floss slides easily between closely spaced teeth
- Unwaxed floss will squeak against clean teeth, indicating that plaque has been removed
- Super floss is recommended for people with bridgework
- People with wider than average spaces between their teeth are often better using interdental brushes (e.g. Picksters). Your dentist can advise you about which size is best for you.
How to floss?
If you are unsure whether your technique for flossing is correct, our qualified staff at The Dental Lounge Robina, would be happy to discuss your dental hygiene routine with you, however here are some basic steps to follow:
- Step 1 – Wind approx. 45cm of floss around your middle fingers and rest it across your thumbs and index fingers. Hold the floss tightly (without any slack) between your two hands.
- Step 2 – Use a gentle up-and-down motion that goes down one side of the tooth, just under the collar of gum and then back up the other side (like an on-the-side “C”). Repeat this technique on all your teeth.
- Step 3 – Rinse your mouth vigorously to remove any food particles and loosened plaque.
In addition to brushing and flossing, regular dental check-ups and cleans are vital to maintaining optimal oral health. To schedule an appointment, phone (07) 5580 8855 or use our online request form to schedule an appointment.