Tips and Advice for Flossing in Recognition of National Flossing Day
National Flossing Day is right around the corner, and whereas it might be slightly overshadowed by Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Day, it’s still a great time to give three cheers for the unsung hero of dental hygiene, the modest waxed string we know as dental floss.
Why Should You Floss?
Most of the daily emphasis on toothcare is on brushing, which removes bacteria, food, and grime from the surface of the teeth. But where flossing truly shines is in getting into those hard-to-reach spaces in between teeth and close to the gum line, where regular toothbrushes can’t reach. Flossing helps fight gingivitis and periodontitis, reducing the risk of gum inflammation and cavities. Flossing also helps promote fresh breath by removing the food and bacteria that collects between your teeth.
Tips for Effective Flossing
- Choose the Right Floss:
- There are various types of dental floss available, including waxed, unwaxed, flavored, and wider tape-style floss. Choose the one that feels most comfortable and effective for you.
- Establish a Routine:
Make flossing a daily habit. Aim to floss at least once a day, ideally before bedtime, to remove accumulated plaque and food particles.
- Proper Technique:
- Start with an 18-inch (45 cm) length of floss. Wind most of it around one finger on each hand, leaving about 1-2 inches (2-5 cm) of floss to work with.
- Gently slide the floss between your teeth using a sawing motion. Avoid snapping it into place, which can harm your gums.
- Curve the floss around the base of each tooth, forming a C-shape, and gently glide it up and down. Be gentle to avoid damaging your gums.
- Use a fresh section of floss for each tooth to avoid transferring bacteria.
- Be Patient:
- Take your time when flossing to ensure thorough cleaning. Rushing can lead to incomplete removal of plaque and debris.
- Keep Flossing Agents Handy:
- Keep floss in your purse, briefcase, backpack or satchel. Floss picks are also a convenient minimal device for a quick cleaning when out and about.
- Use Flossing Aids:
- If traditional flossing is challenging, consider using floss picks, interdental brushes, or water flossers. These tools can make the process more accessible and convenient.
- Teach Children Early:
- Encourage good oral hygiene habits in children by teaching them to floss as soon as part of your family culture. Child-friendly floss and flossers are available.
- Avoid “Bleeding Gums” as an Excuse:
- If your gums bleed when you first start flossing or after a break, don’t be discouraged. This is a sign of gum inflammation and indicates the need for regular flossing to improve gum health.
- Set Reminders:
- Use phone alarms or other reminders to ensure you don’t forget to floss daily, especially if you’re establishing a new habit.
Call Park 56 Dentistry to Celebrate
Our dental professionals are always available to celebrate National Flossing Day with you, to help you analyze your flossing technique, or to offer advice on the best type of floss for you. November is also a great time to contact us and schedule your end-of-year cleaning or get on the schedule after the new year.
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