Flossing is a part of the at-home dental hygiene process that often isn’t done right; sometimes, it’s even skipped altogether. But cleaning in between your teeth is essential for preventing the cavities and plaque buildup that, if not taken care of early, can require dental surgery.
- Use The Right Product: Traditional dental floss is the most popular option for flossing, and types can range from unwaxed and flavored to the special “comfort” variety that is gentle on gums. However, other tools like dental picks or small brushes that scrub between the teeth can also be used for effective flossing. If you have particularly sensitive gums, you may want to talk to your oral surgeon about which products will work best for you, as well as which products are approved as safe by the American Dental Association.
- Timing Is Everything: Some people reserve their flossing for their nighttime brushing routine, while others do it first thing in the morning. Some prefer to floss before they brush, and some make flossing the final step. As long as you’re flossing properly, there is no bad time to do it. Make sure you have several free minutes to devote to it, as rushing through the process will make it less effective.
- Pay Attention To Technique: An improper flossing technique is ineffective. Make sure you’re using the correct technique by winding 18 inches of floss around your middle fingers, holding it tightly, and using up and down motions around the front and back of your teeth to get rid of buildup. Remember to be gentle so that your gums don’t bleed, and never use the same string of floss twice! If you aren’t sure you’re flossing correctly, ask your oral surgeon to demonstrate.
For more information on flossing, or to schedule dental surgery, contact Oral Surgery Associates of Alaska at (907) 561-1430 or visit their website.