It’s the end of the day, and you just want to get to bed. You’ve put away the leftovers, turned off the TV, powered down the computer, and brushed your teeth. Was there something you were missing? If you’re like a lot of people the answer is yes – you forgot to floss!
Only about half of us floss on a daily basis despite how important it is to your continued oral health. The team at our Rochester dentist office sees a lot of patients suffering from gum disease and tooth decay that could have been stopped if they had had good flossing habits.
Today we’re going to talk about all things dental floss. You might be surprised to learn the best methods or how to choose a product that’s right for you!
Flossing: Why Do It?
Plaque bacteria is what’s ultimately responsible for most every problem you have in your mouth. It loves to find small hard-to-reach places to hide, and the space between your teeth is the perfect choice. Left on its own plaque bacteria will end up metabolizing sugar into acids that damage your teeth and end up causing gum disease – all which could be stopped by flossing.
Using dental floss is the perfect way to get between your teeth and it’s essential you do it every day. Think of how gross your mouth feels when you miss a brushing – you wouldn’t want to leave the stuff causing that feeling safely nestled between your teeth, would you?
Effective Flossing: How To Do It
It isn’t as simple as just breaking off a small piece, jamming it between your teeth, and being done. Just like brushing, there are certain things you should do to make it more effective.
- Take a piece of floss about 18 inches. Wrap it around your middle fingers, with most of the floss on one hand. There should only be a few inches between your hands.
- Use gentle back-and-forth motion to work the floss into the space between your teeth. Make sure to get both teeth from the gum line up to the top. Don’t be afraid to get below your gumline either. That’s how you get that bacteria out!
- Once you’re done with one spot wind the floss from one hand to the other, moving to a clean piece.
With some practice you’ll have flossing down to an art and it won’t take you much time at all. Flossing is simple and can seriously provide a boost to your oral health: don’t neglect it!
Choosing The Right Floss For Your Teeth
Everyone’s mouth is different, and thankfully there are a few different flossing products that are best suited to particular types of smiles.
- Nylon thread floss is ideal for people with normal spaces between their teeth. Waxed nylon floss is even better since it’s easier to get into tight spaces. It’s also cheap and readily available, making it easy to find and affordable. Nylon floss can shred though, making it hard to use if your teeth are too close together.
- Monofilament floss is designed for people with really tightly spaced teeth. If you have trouble using nylon floss this is the perfect product for you. It’s made of a single thread of plastic or rubber and is shaped like a ribbon, making it incredibly thin and able to go places nylon can’t.
- Flossing Handles are great for people who don’t want to deal with all that thread. They have a small head on them that gets right between your teeth with a short piece of floss. They’re disposable and easy to use, making them a great option for travel or an alternative to regular floss.
- Electric flossers use water pressure to shoot a super thin, high-pressure beam of water between your teeth. They’re great for people who hate to floss and do a great job, leaving your mouth feeling incredibly refreshed. For a bonus many of them can also use mouthwash!
The Bottom Line: Flossing Is Important!
If you don’t floss there’s a simple truth to the situation: you will end up with tooth decay or gum disease. Flossing is an essential part of your oral health routine that simply can’t be ignored if you want to maintain a healthy smile for the rest of your life!
If you’re worried about your teeth or gums don’t wait: call Northwest Dental Group today to schedule an appointment! You can reach us at 507-315-2932 or you can request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!