3 Tips on More Effective Flossing from a Dentist in Carrollton, TX

A woman flossing her teeth.Did you know that flossing helps you remove the 40 percent of plaque that goes unremoved when brushing? That’s because toothbrushes can’t reach the sides of teeth, especially if your teeth are straight. Without daily flossing, you put your teeth at higher risk of decay and your gums at higher risk of inflammation and periodontitis.

To help make flossing easier, take note of three tips from a dentist in Carrollton, TX!

Pick the Right Type of Floss

If you’ve ever stood and stared at all the products in the oral care aisle, you’ve probably realized just how many different types of floss are out there. Generally, a waxed, nylon floss is ideal for most individuals, but it may not be necessarily right for you. Start by checking what floss you currently have in your home and see if that works. If you find it difficult to remove the floss after sliding it in between your teeth, it means you should purchase a thinner type. This is known as PTFE or monofilament, meaning it doesn’t tear like nylon floss does, even if the nylon form is waxed.

Know the Right Technique

Now that you’ve got your floss of choice, you’ll need to know what correct flossing looks like. Start by removing about 18 inches of floss so you can wind most of it up around your middle finger. Leave about an inch or two in between your fingers so you have room to work with.

Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and index finger and gently slide it up and down between your teeth. Curve the floss around each tooth making sure to reach below the gumline. As you move from tooth to tooth, either move to different sections of the floss or rinse it in between. You don’t want plaque or food debris to come off your floss and get stuck in other areas. After gently sliding the floss back and forth to remove it from the tooth, rinse your mouth out with cold water.

Don’t Floss Too Much!

When flossing, make sure to not snap or push the floss too deep into the gumline. Snapping it will only remove enamel in the process. Digging too deep can easily cut or bruise your sensitive gum tissue. If you feel like you must force floss in between teeth, purchase another type.

If you struggle to floss, you may benefit from handheld floss picks or a water flosser. Use whatever makes the habit as simple and straightforward as possible.

While the population’s oral care habits have dramatically improved over the last few decades, flossing is still widely ignored. If you struggle to floss at least once a day, schedule an appointment today to learn more helpful advice!

About the Author

Dr. Kimberly Capua is just as happy to help patients improve their at-home oral care technique as she is to provide patients’ routine dental cleanings in the office. If you’re ever unsure if your technique is sufficient or simply want a recommendation on which products are the most effective for at-home use, feel free to contact her for advice through her website!