If you have been avoiding your dental floss until the day of your dentist appointment, you might want to rethink your relationship with that box of floss. Most people brush regularly, but even thorough brushing can miss plaque or pieces of food between teeth. We know it might not be your favorite thing to do, but if you start flossing in Thousand Oaks, CA, on a daily basis, you can keep your smile healthier and help prevent gum disease and cavities.
Do You Have to Floss?
Brushing can take care of the larger surfaces, but dental floss is the tool that gets the hard-to-reach spots where bacteria can hide and cause decay. It does not matter if you brush before or after you floss as long as you make it a normal part of your daily routine.
Need a Refresher?
Flossing can be comfortable and gentle, especially after your gums adjust to daily care. Here’s a quick how-to reminder:
- Start with about a foot and a half of your preferred kind of floss.
- Use your middle finger on one hand as a spool and wind most of the floss around it.
- Holding the slack end of the floss with your thumb and forefingers, work the floss lightly between your teeth, using a rubbing motion.
- When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it around one tooth in a C shape.
- Repeat with the rest of your teeth, working your way through the length of floss you are using.
- Rinse and smile because you did it!
- Be sure to toss that floss after each use! You should start with a new piece every time you floss your teeth to prevent spreading bacteria.
What if Flossing Causes Pain?
Use a soft touch with both brushing and flossing for less sensitivity. The motion, not the friction, is what gets your teeth clean. If you find floss uncomfortable, you can try other tools, including:
- Disposable flossing picks
- Proxy brushes
- Oral irrigators