General Dentistry Tips for Proper Flossing

General Dentistry Tips for Proper Flossing from Brighter Smile Family Dentistry & Orthodontics in Sterling, VABrushing and flossing are important parts of a good oral hygiene routine, along with general dentistry visits and avoiding eating sweets regularly. However, many people do not brush and floss enough or do not perform these activities thoroughly. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to get the most out of your daily oral hygiene routine.

General dentistry tips for proper flossing

Dentists recommend that you floss once per day in order to reap the benefits of reduced plaque and bacteria, as well as lower your risk of gingivitis, gum disease, and tooth decay. Here are some ways that you can floss your teeth better each day.

Perfect your technique

If you want each flossing session to be as effective as possible, you need to make sure that you have a good flossing technique. Whether you use unwaxed or waxed floss, a proper technique includes:

  • Washing your hands thoroughly prior to flossing
  • Taking approximately 18 inches of floss, wrapping it around the index or middle fingers of each hand, and leaving your thumbs free to guide the floss
  • Gliding the floss between your teeth using a diagonal movement, wrapping the floss around the teeth while holding the string taunt
  • Unveiling a new portion of floss each time you go through a new crevice

If you have not been used to flossing properly or regularly, it might take a few tries before you feel confident with a new and improved technique. If you are still unsure of your technique, discuss this at your next general dentistry visit.

Consider other appliances

For people whose hands are unsteady or who have arthritis in their hands, flossing properly may present a challenge. This is where a device such as a water flosser might be useful. This handheld device uses a steady stream of water rather than a traditional string of floss to remove food particles and plaque between teeth. In addition to those with difficulty using their hands, water flossers can be beneficial to people who have dental bridges or who wear braces, devices that can make it difficult to reach between the teeth.

Air flossers are very similar to water flossers, except they use streams of air containing tiny droplets of water rather than water alone. Both can be a good alternative to traditional flossing; it is just a matter of preference between using more water or more air.

There are also dental flossers that consist of regular floss attached to a handle. These devices are one-time use and are good for people who have difficulty flossing but wish to use the traditional floss material.

Make it a habit

A perfect technique is not going to matter if you do not floss regularly. If you brush your teeth in the morning and again at night, decide which time of day you have the most time to incorporate flossing into your oral health routine.

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Conclusion

Flossing properly is something that comes with practice and patience. However, the benefits to your oral health make it worthwhile.

Request an appointment or call Brighter Smile Family Dentistry & Orthodontics at 703-994-4044 for an appointment in our Sterling office.

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