Serving Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN
Your dental hygienist and dentist probably have stressed to you the importance of flossing. But, for some reason, you skip this step in your oral care routine. You aren’t alone. Many people struggle to make flossing their teeth a habit, not realizing that it is as essential as brushing. Devine Dentistry, general dentists in Nashville, wants to ensure that you learn how to floss correctly. Today on the blog, we are sharing tips to become a pro flosser so that you can maintain your oral health.
Choose the type of floss that works best for you. Just be sure that it is ADA approved. Start by unrolling about an 18-inch piece. Wrap one end of the floss around the middle finger on one hand, and then do the same with the other end of the floss and your opposite hand. Start on one side of your mouth, like the right upper dental arch, and gently push the floss between your teeth. As you scrape the side of each tooth, curve the floss in a “C” shape and move it up and down, taking care not to pop the floss in and out. Also, avoid using a slicing motion, as you could injure your gums. Instead, move the floss in an up and down motion. As the floss accumulates debris, wrap the floss around your middle finger so that you use a clean section of floss for each tooth. If the floss becomes frayed or too dirty, throw it out and get a clean piece. The reason you don’t want to use the same section of floss is to prevent spreading bacteria around your mouth, or wedging debris between your other teeth. Also, be sure to floss all of your teeth, not just the ones that are easy to reach.
Flossing Bridgework and Implants
If you have bridgework or dental implants, it is imperative that you floss around these restorations to remove bacteria and food particles. Otherwise, it could become infected and cause you to lose your tooth or result in implant failure. The same care should be taken if you have a permanent orthodontic wire behind your front teeth. These are prime spots for cavities to form if not cared for properly. Floss threaders and water flossers make cleaning these areas much easier.
Can I use a water flosser or floss sticks?
Traditional floss is always best, but if you struggle with dexterity problems or are unable to use traditional floss, a water flosser or floss sticks will do just fine. You may want to discuss with your dentist about whether you need to switch to one of these alternatives.
Why can’t I just use mouthwash instead of flossing?
Mouthwash provides added benefits when used daily. But, it should not be used as a substitute for brushing or flossing your teeth because mouthwash is a rinse. It cannot mechanically remove stuck-on plaque. Consider adding an alcohol-free mouthwash to your oral care routine to rinse away loosened debris and plaque after flossing, and to help prevent bad breath.
Devine Dentistry is a family dental office serving Belle Meade, Green Hills, and Nashville. Our priority is your oral health. If you would like to learn more about how to keep your smile healthy or find out if you are flossing your teeth correctly, contact our office by calling (615) 269-4209.