It’s hard enough to remember to floss – but if you’re flossing the wrong way, you could actually be doing more harm than good. Flossing isn’t difficult, but it does mean that you need to take a few different steps to make sure flossing is done properly:
Bleeding Doesn’t Mean You Should Stop Flossing
One of the biggest concerns that people have when they floss is making their gums bleed. If you floss irregularly, you probably have gingivitis. One of the signs of gingivitis and gum disease is bleeding gums. It can take flossing every day for up to two weeks before bleeding goes away.
Wrap the Floss Tightly Around Your Tooth
Floss needs to be wrapped in a “C” shape around your tooth and then rubbed up and down against the tooth under the gumlines. Keeping the floss straight and jerking it up and down can cut or permanently damage your gums. The key is to clean the curves of your teeth and the pockets below your gumlines.
Chose Your Floss Picks Wisely
As noted above, you need to be able to curve the floss around your tooth. Cheaper versions of most floss picks won’t allow you to do that around your back teeth. They are usually ok for front teeth or for children, but not comprehensive adult oral hygiene. Consider getting a flosser with a “Y” shape that is easier to reach the back teeth with.
Can’t Reach? Consider a Water Flosser
Water flossers are a great, efficient alternative to traditional flossing. Although they are messy in the beginning, water flossers do an excellent job at keeping your smile clean and healthy.
Posted on behalf of:
Mansouri Family Dental Care & Associates
4720 Lower Roswell Rd
Marietta, GA 30068
Do you floss?
If you’re like many adults in the United States, you don’t. In fact, according to 2010 statistics from the American Dental Association, almost 50 percent of American adults do not floss every day and here’s the kicker: 18.5% of American adults do not floss at all.
And there are all sorts of excuses. People say they are too busy. They forget. They don’t think it’s really necessary. They brush regularly, they say, and that keeps cavities and other dental problems at bay.
They couldn’t be more wrong.
When you brush your teeth, you brush a little over 60 percent of their surface. Even the most state-of-the-art toothbrush is not very effective at getting in between the teeth. So to clean the remaining 40 percent, you are going to have to floss or use an interdental cleaner.
What happens if you don’t clean between the teeth? Well, most likely you will end up with tooth decay. Food stuck between the teeth will cause bacteria to accumulate, resulting in tartar, plaque and, eventually dental caries. Lack of flossing could also lead to gingivitis, gum disease and, ultimately, tooth loss.
The ADA and your Lawrenceville dentist recommends flossing at least once a day. To do this, just grab a small length of dental floss and hold it taut with two hands. Then, holding the floss in a “c” shape carefully work your way around your mouth, moving the floss from the gums outward. Don’t forget the teeth in the very back of your mouth.
If you have trouble remembering to floss, leave the packet of floss by your toothbrush in the bathroom. It won’t take long before flossing becomes a habit – and you’re on your way to a cleaner, brighter smile.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Mansouri, Lawrenceville Family Dental Care, P.C.
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