Proper dental hygiene goes far beyond just brushing. While most people brush at least twice a day, far fewer are in the habit of flossing their teeth. The reason why brushing alone is not completely effective in keeping your teeth clean is easy to understand.
With brushing you are removing food particles that have attached to the surface of your teeth. However, regardless of how thorough a job you do with your toothbrush, you will not be able to move all the bits of food that get lodged between teeth and between teeth and gums.
Flossing is an effective way to get between teeth and down to the gum line. When done correctly, the combination of brushing and flossing will not only remove the majority of food particles that are caught in your teeth, it will reduce the risk of developing any dental infections as a result.
How To Floss Your Teeth
All you need is about eighteen inches of dental floss to start. Wrap the ends around the middle fingers of both hands and use the thumb and forefingers of each hand to grip it. While holding it this way, gently work the floss between two teeth.
Once you have done this, curve the floss around one tooth as if to make the letter C with the floss. This helps in wrapping the floss around more surface of the tooth you are focusing on. The next thing you do is rub the floss gently up and down the tooth.
Once you have cleaned it, move on to the tooth next to it and then remove the floss and move to another pair of teeth repeating until you have cleaned all top and bottom teeth. Replace the floss frequently and try not to snap or jerk it between teeth.
Flossing your teeth is not easy, but you will improve at it the more you do it reducing some of the time spent on the activity. However, there may be teeth you will not be able to reach or clean effectively by flossing with this method.
Teeth that are in the back of your mouth may require the use of either a floss pick or an access flosser. These tiny tools are designed to floss between teeth where space is limited, where you simply can’t get easy access with your fingers wrapped in floss.
A floss pick is a plastic wand with an F or Y shape where a small amount of floss is attached to the ends and you use a handle to maneuver them into place. An access flosser is similar only it has a longer handle and the floss holder comes directly off the end of the handle.
Either way, these hand held flossers are effective in allowing you to properly position floss between teeth you cannot reach any other way. They are also extremely effective in removing food particles from between teeth you may only be able to brush otherwise.
For more information on flossing your teeth and for a demonstration on the best methods to use when flossing, contact the dental professionals at Forster Dental Centre. We can advise you on floss selection and whether or not a pick or access flosser is best for you.