We see so many patients at our Royal Oak dentist practice who insist that they are flossing on a daily basis. And we believe them!
The problem, however, is that they aren’t getting the results they would expect because they aren’t using the right technique. Flossing involves more than snapping a piece of floss between your teeth to dislodge stuck bits of food. When you floss, your goal is actually to remove bits of plaque from between your teeth and just beneath the gumline.
Best Practices for Flossing
1. Make sure you are using the right floss for the job: Dental flosses come in a variety of different widths and styles from super thin floss that looks like thread to thicker, almost fluffy flosses and even tapes. While personal preference comes into play, you might benefit from a specific type of floss based on how much space is between your teeth or whether you have any dental restorations. Dr. Chalasani or your hygienist is happy to discuss this with you and recommend the most appropriate type of floss. If dexterity is a concern, we can discuss additional products that can help, such as long-handled flossers.
2. Take your time: It takes time to make sure the job is done right! Don’t rush, and be sure to cover every surface between your teeth. Remember to floss the backs of your furthest back teeth as well!
3. Work your way into the gums: As you floss, be sure to gently run the floss along the tooth using a side-to-side motion and into the gum line. If you haven’t been practicing this technique, your gums may bleed the first couple of times you do it. If the bleeding persists, please schedule an appointment so we can evaluate you for gum disease.
4. Use enough floss: You’ll want to use about 18 inches each time you floss. Wrap the floss around your middle fingers so you have about an inch or so to work with. As you work your way around your mouth, be sure to move to clean areas of floss.
5. Let us know if you have any problems: Do you have some areas that are hard to floss because the teeth are tightly packed together or otherwise misaligned? This is a common concern, but it can increase your risk for gum disease. We are always happy to provide an evaluation and determine whether you could benefit from orthodontic treatments like Invisalign.
Book a Cleaning at our Royal Oak MI Office!
Are you due for a cleaning? Regular cleanings are a vital part of your preventive care plan!
Call us today. We’ll be happy to take time during your cleaning to give you a hands-on demonstration of good flossing technique!