Comprehensive Guide to Flossing your Teeth

flossing guidePoway and Rancho Bernardo, CA

We are taught at a young age that flossing is important. But, are you flossing the right way or using the best tools to get the job done? Your family dentist in Poway at Smiles by Dr. Cook would like to educate you with this guide to proper flossing.

String floss is the most commonly recommended flossing method for a reason

It works but if you see blood after flossing you may be flossing with the wrong technique. However, if you are not used to flossing regularly, a little blood may indicate that you need to floss more often to reverse the effects of gingivitis – the first stage of gum disease. If you floss daily, but still find that your gums bleed a little, then it may be a sign that you are forcing the floss too hard in between your teeth, which may be injuring your gums. Use a gentle gliding motion to ease the floss between your teeth. Then, using a curvature motion, slide the floss along the side edge of each tooth, and then carefully using a “U” shape motion to also gently floss along the gum that is between your teeth. Repeat this technique until you are finished.

Floss picks are convenient for on-the-go flossing

Another method of flossing involves using a floss pick. They are more often used for removing food between braces, although come in handy when you need to floss your teeth on the go. Floss picks also should not be forced between your teeth. Floss picks may be helpful for people who struggle with dexterity problems that prevent them from using their fingers to hold string floss.

Water flossing is a technique where water pressure is used to blast away food on the teeth

Water flossing can be beneficial because it cleans deeper under your gums, and easily cleans braces, around crowns or under bridgework and dental implants, reducing your chances of developing gingivitis—the initial stage of gum disease. For patients who suffer from diabetes, using a water flosser is particularly important as diabetics run higher risks for inflamed gums, gum disease, and gingivitis. Water flossing, although has its added benefits, should not replace traditional flossing methods. Nothing removes buildup from between your teeth better than good ole’ floss!

Ever heard of interproximal teeth cleaning?

This phrase probably sounds intimidating, but it’s actually the term used to describe the act of taking a specially designed brush that fits under bridgework, between orthodontic brackets, or large gaps between teeth to remove food or biofilm that is stuck around your teeth and gums. Also known as interproximal brushes, these nifty oral hygiene tools are made to clean gaps between teeth that are so wide that traditional string floss wouldn’t do much good, or may be difficult to use. These brushes come in different sizes. After finding the correct size, take your brush and slide it back and forth in gaps to brush the sides of your teeth and along the gum line.

Learn how to floss in Poway

Flossing should be part of your daily dental hygiene routine. With diligent flossing, you will see great improvements in the appearance and health of your smile—with less gum irritation and no more dingy crevices between teeth. If you are interested in learning more about any of these flossing tools or would like to learn how to floss correctly, call the friendly and helpful staff at Smiles by Dr. Cook. We would love to help you.

To schedule an appointment, please call (858) 673-0141 or contact Smiles by Dr. Cook today. We welcome patients of Poway and Rancho Bernardo, California.

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