The importance of maintaining good oral hygiene has been taught to us since a young age. After all, healthy teeth and gums protect us from a variety of dental issues and allow us to have a flawless smile. Following a ritual of brushing twice and flossing once daily is the basic necessity for good oral health. While brushing is essential, flossing helps in removing plaque and other debris, which brushing alone might not be able to.
Daily flossing also increases the longevity of your teeth, reduces the risk of gum problems, and rids you of bad breath. Even though you may be flossing daily for years, you would be surprised to know that many do it incorrectly. Learning how to floss is vital because incorrect flossing technique can lead to dental problems.
For maximum benefits implement this proper technique of flossing.
Firstly, break off 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around the middle finger of both hands. Leave 2-3 inches of floss to work with. Many people prefer flossing after brushing, however brushing your teeth after flossing will allow the fluoride from the toothpaste to reach between teeth and remove the debris left after flossing.
Hold the 2-3 inches of floss that you left with your thumb and forefingers of both your hands. Using your thumbs can be more helpful in flossing your upper teeth, and using your index fingers will help floss your bottom teeth easily. Do whatever is most comfortable for you.
It doesn’t matter which tooth you start with as long as you are flossing every tooth in the right way. Generally, people start with the middle area between the front two upper or bottom teeth. Once you have picked an area, hold the floss between your thumb and index fingers and slide in gently in an up and down motion between your teeth. Make sure to not do it aggressively and not snap the floss down into the gums.
Once the floss reaches the gumline, gently curve it in a ‘C’ shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and teeth in an up and down motion. This will help reach the contours of the tooth. Once you are done, gently move the floss back out the way it came.
Repeat the process between each tooth. Use the clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth. Don’t forget the backs of your rear molars. Bacteria and plaque often accumulate in the corners of your mouth. While it can be a little tricky to floss in there, you must not neglect it. Once you are done, rinse your mouth with water to help remove any stray plaque and food particles.
Learning exactly how to floss is vital for maintaining good oral health. It is recommended that you floss for at least two- three minutes once a day. Make sure you do not overdo flossing or you may damage your gums. Varieties of floss are available to choose from. Consult a dentist to suggest the best for you. A dentist will also help you with valuable dental hygiene tips to maintain oral health and a beautiful smile.