Proper Dental Flossing Techniques

Usually one of the first questions your Boca Raton dentist or hygienist asks during your bi-annual check-up is, “How often do you floss?” Many people exaggerate or just plain fib about how often they floss to a lecture on the benefits of flossing. But the reason your dentist or hygienist stresses the importance of flossing is because cleaning between your teeth helps prevent cavities and gum disease by removing a sticky film called plaque. Like it or not, flossing is vital to maintaining good dental hygiene. 

The American Dental Association recommends daily flossing. While traditional string floss is the most effective, always use an instrument designed for your teeth such as a flosser, tiny brush,floss pick or water flosser. This seems to be a common stumbling block based on the results of a recent study conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Waterpik. Results showed that most Americans have used such unusual items as: fingernails (61%), folded paper or cards (40%), cutlery (21%,fork, knife, or spoon), safety pins (14%) and even strands of hair (7%) to clean between their teeth. Yuk!

Here’s the thing: Flossing only takes a minute or two and is very easy when you know how to doit right.Here is a quick guide on how to floss flawlessly:

  1. Using about 18 inches of floss, wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger on the opposite hand.
  2. Gripping the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers, gently guide the floss between your teeth using a rubbing motion.
  3. Curve the floss into a C shape against one tooth and gently slide it into the space between the gum and tooth.
  4. Gently rub the side of the tooth moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions.
  5. Repeat with the rest of your teeth.

Like any healthy habit, it takes time to get used to it, but with practice and consistency, you and your family members can make flossing part of your daily routine.

Using fun-flavored floss or a sticker chart can be a great way to help children remember to floss.Keep in mind that small children might not have the manual dexterity to floss and may need help. For older kids, teenagers and adults, make flossing very convenient. Put floss or flossing supplies right next to toothbrushes and toothpaste. Set an alarm on your phone to go off at the same time every day reminding you to floss.

Once you begin daily flossing, it won’t take long for this healthy habit to stick. Then you won’t have to squirm at your next appointment when the dentist or hygienist asks how often you floss.

Give us call here at Konis Family Dental for any questions you might have regarding your dental health. We proudly serve the South Florida dental needs of Boca Raton & the surrounding area. We can be reached at: 561-392-2025

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