Taking care of your teeth is vital to your dental and overall health, and a State Of Oral Health Report reveals. The report shows that 74% of adults and 88% of children saw their dentist in 2020, and 93% of adults were planning to see their dentist the following year.
However, a separate analysis shows that even people that brush their teeth regularly don’t always floss, with 37% of people saying they don’t floss daily and 32% not flossing at all.
So, if you’re brushing and not flossing, or not flossing regularly, it’s essential to understand its benefits and how the combination of doing both daily can enhance your dental health. To be sure you have the right technique for flossing your teeth, let’s look at the importance of flossing, as well as the right techniques and tools to do it correctly.
Residents of Mamaroneck, New York, and Stamford, Connecticut, looking for proper methods and techniques of tooth care should seek help from Dr. Gennadiy Kravets and the skilled staff at All Bright Dental.
The importance of flossing
Your teeth have many surfaces:
- Facial: the outward surface that faces your lips and cheeks, also called the buccal or labial surface
- Incisal: the biting edge of your anterior teeth (the 12 teeth in the front that cut and tear food)
- Lingual: the tongue facing area of the tooth
- Mesial: the side of your tooth that faces its front
- Occlusal: the biting edge of posterior teeth (located in the back of your jaw)
- Proximal: the surfaces of your teeth that face each other
When you brush your teeth, you are only able to catch stains, plaque, and other substances on some of the surfaces of your teeth. But brushing misses the areas between teeth — places where food and other particles gather and create the environment for other dental problems. Flossing can clear out the surfaces between the teeth.
Proper flossing techniques
For traditional flossing, which uses an orthodontically treated string (often waxed) to fit between the teeth, you start by breaking off the proper amount of floss (about 18 inches) and wrapping a portion of it around your middle fingers. Then, holding the floss tightly between your thumb and forefingers, guide the floss between the teeth in a gentle rubbing motion. It’s important to never snap the floss into your gums.
As the floss reaches the gumline, curve it into a C shape against the tooth and gently rub the sides, moving it in an up and down motion away from the gums. Repeat this method with the remaining teeth. Throw the floss away once you’ve finished.
Proper flossing tools
Regular dental floss is readily available, but there are other ways to get between the teeth. Water flossers are a type of oral irrigator, which shoots a stream of water between the teeth and gums to remove particles, making it easier for people with orthodontic appliances to clean these areas.
Another great tool for cleaning between teeth is a floss holder, also referred to as a pre-thread flosser. The device removes the burden of threading floss between fingers to make flossing easier.
Whatever tool you end up using, flossing your teeth at least once a day along with brushing and rinsing can make a significant difference in your dental and overall health. If you have concerns about your flossing technique or any other dental issues, make an appointment with Dr. Kravets and All Bright Dental today.