If you’ve already developed a consistent and healthy brushing schedule, congratulations! You’re halfway down the road to achieving good oral hygiene. The other key to having a healthy mouth is learning proper flossing techniques. The British Dental Health Foundation recommends flossing at least once a day, and they give five suggestions to make your next flossing session more successful:
- Use about 18 inches of floss. This may seem like a lot, but once you wind it around your two middle fingers, you will be left with a sufficient amount to work with.
- Grip the floss tightly between your thumb and forefingers, with about an inch of floss between them. Make sure the floss is pulled tightly and cannot loosen or bend. Then, gently rock the floss between your teeth. You should not jerk the floss or try to force it between your gums.
- When the floss is at your gum line, curve it against one tooth until you feel resistance.
- Hold the floss against this tooth. Gently scrape the side of the tooth as you move the floss away from the gums. Repeat on the other side of the gap on the neighboring tooth.
- Continue this process between each of your teeth, including the very back teeth.
The British Dental Health Foundation also suggests following a regular pattern when you floss so that you don’t miss any teeth. You may choose to start at the bottom right and end at the top left, or any other consistent method. Don’t be afraid to use a mirror, at least for awhile, so you can make sure you’re flossing properly. In general, developing good habits will greatly improve the effectiveness of your flossing.
If you have questions or want to request special floss for braces or crowns, please talk to your dentist or orthodontist. Any oral health professional that accepts your True Dental Discounts, dental plan
will be able to help you improve your flossing habits. The sooner your start, the more benefits you will reap when it comes to having a hygienic mouth.