Best Tips For Your Flossing Routine

And Why Flossing Is Important To Oral Health

Did you know that patients who don’t floss are missing out on cleaning over a third of their teeth? So whether you’re new to flossing, ambivalent about it or want to double-check the process, proper flossing is vital for pearly whites and clean gums.

Flossing can help prevent cavities, protect your gums, clean up plaque, freshen breath, and more. It’s also far less expensive than dental treatments.

While it might feel overwhelming to choose the right type of floss and use the correct method, it doesn’t have to be. Read this guide on the various types of dental floss and how to use them for optimum cleaning today!

Why Is Flossing Important?

Both a floss threader and traditional floss are used to clean plaque and food particles between your teeth and just below your gum line. Flossing removes plaque which collects around and between your teeth. While it’s hard to see, you don’t want it.

Plaque is bacteria in your mouth that constantly forms on teeth. Without flossing, the bacteria can release acids that attack your tooth enamel. If left for too long, plaque can turn into tartar, which can lead to cavities. Tartar also increases your risk of periodontal disease or gingivitis. The good news is that flossing can help prevent these problems since it removes the build-up between your teeth.

Flossing isn’t just for healthy teeth and gums; it could also help decrease your chance of serious conditions such as heart disease.

How Often You Should Floss

Flossing tips: floss at least once per day. This is vital since brushing alone can’t reach all sides of your teeth.

If you don’t floss, you’re missing out on cleaning a good portion of your mouth. Whether you floss before bed or in the morning is up to you.

To floss properly, take a piece of floss, wrap it around the index or middle fingers of each hand. Hold the floss tightly, then form it into a c-shape around each tooth. Gently slide the floss up and down the tooth and just below the gum line.

Types of Floss You Can Use

The effectiveness of your flossing routine will depend on the type of floss you use as well. From waxed to unwaxed, water to chemical-free, you have options. If you’re unsure which kind to use, speak with your dentist to find out which option is best for you.

Waxed Dental Floss

This floss is coated with wax to help it slide more easily between your teeth. It’s better to use for teeth that are closer together.

Unwaxed Dental Floss

Unwaxed floss contains fewer chemicals and is often recommended for people who are more sensitive to artificial tastes.  It is, however, more likely to break.

Water Flosser

This is a handheld electronic device that removes food particles between teeth. Water flossing is best for those with braces or sensitive teeth.

Water flossers are also great for those who struggle with traditional floss. It could include those with Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and more. While it can remove plaque and reduce bleeding, water flossing might not be as effective as traditional floss.

Chemical–Free Floss

Some people prefer their floss chemical-free. PFAS, for example is the name of a type of chemical used in non-stick pans and waterproofing and has been linked to health problems. It is also used in some types of dental floss.

A recent study out of Harvard University found that women who used Oral-B Glide floss had higher levels of a PFAS-class chemical called perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) in their blood.

For people concerned about exposure to these chemicals, some dentists recommend choosing floss made of silk.

How To Floss With A Retainer

If you have a permanent retainer, flossing can be trickier, but there are tools to help. A floss threader, for example, can be very helpful. Those with braces can benefit from floss threaders as well.

First, place a piece of floss through the threader. Next, pass the stiff end of the floss threader under the retainer. Pull the threader completely through the retiner until the floss is beneath it. Once it’s under the wire, you can floss as usual.

For retainers or braces that are attached to each tooth individually, you’ll need to repeat this step for each tooth. Floss threaders are easy to use, affordable, and effective. They make flossing much easier!

Maintaining Proper Oral Health With Dental Floss

You’ll want to brush at least twice daily (preferably after each meal) and use dental floss at least once every day. Don’t forget to brush your tongue and use mouthwash as well. Good oral hygiene helps you prevent periodontal disease, gingivitis and serious conditions such as heart disease.

If you have questions about your oral hygiene routine, contact your dentist. They can show you the proper way to floss and brush.

You should visit your dentist regularly (twice a year) to ensure everything looks good. Dentists can also check for other serious conditions, such as oral cancer.

A dental visit and cleaning twice a year will help you maintain proper oral health. Book an appointment today if you’re ready to start with a highly-qualified dentist right in Orleans!