Flossing is an important part of good dental hygiene. Flossing removes food particles that get stuck between your teeth, preventing them from building up and turning into plaque. One of the most common places to get cavities is between the teeth due to food getting trapped and leading to an increase in bacteria.
In order for flossing to be effective, it must be done correctly. Learning how to floss properly is something that should start in childhood when oral care is taught. It may be difficult for very young children to floss their own teeth at first and a parent may need to help. Use this guide to ensure you are flossing your teeth correctly and teaching the correct process to your children.
Flossing Step By Step
- – Break off a piece of floss that is around 18 to 24 inches long.
- – Wrap the floss around the middle fingers of both hands, leaving between 1 and 2 inches of floss between your fingers.
- – Hold the floss with your index fingers and thumbs so that it is tightly stretched between your hands.
- – Gently slide the floss in between two teeth.
- – Move the floss up and down, sliding it against the sides of both teeth. Avoid pushing the floss too hard against your gums.
- – Curve the floss around the base of each tooth to reach more of the surface of the tooth under the gum line.
- – Repeat steps 4-6 using a clean section of floss between each tooth.
- – To floss around braces, simply thread the floss under the archwire of your braces and follow the above steps.
When is the best time to floss?
It is best to floss your teeth before you brush. Flossing dislodges food and plaque so that it can be more effectively brushed away by your toothbrush. If you brush first and then floss, the food particles and plaque will remain in your mouth until the next time you brush.
How often should you floss?
It is recommended that you floss your teeth once a day and brush twice a day. It doesn’t really matter what time of day you floss, but flossing at night followed by brushing allows you to go to bed with a cleaner mouth. When food and plaque sit on your teeth overnight, that is when the greatest risk of decay occurs.
What type of floss should you use?
There’s no perfect type of floss for everyone. There are different types of floss that offer different benefits. Here are some of the types of floss available.
- – Standard floss: a thin string of nylon that fits between most teeth. It comes unwaxed or waxed, though the wax allows it to more easily slide into tight spaces between teeth. Some types of floss come flavored.
- – Dental tape: a wider string of nylon that is flat like a ribbon. It is effective for wider gaps between teeth or around braces.
- – Super floss: consists of 3 parts, a stiffened threading end, spongy floss, and regular floss. Super floss is ideal for getting around dental work like bridges and orthodontic appliances.
You can choose the right floss for you based on your unique needs. If you have trouble flossing around certain teeth your dentist may recommend a different type of floss to help you reach problem places.
Get Flossing Tips From Savannah Dental Solutions
If you have any questions about proper flossing techniques, ask your dentist during one of your regular dental checkups at Savannah Dental Solutions. If you’re looking for a children’s dentist in Savannah, GA, Savannah Dental Solutions is a family dental practice specializing in both pediatric and adult dentistry.
Call (912) 354-1366 today or contact us to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you and your family develop good oral hygiene habits.
Fear of the dentist is incredibly common, even though modern dentistry is nearly pain free. For many people, though, the fear isn’t necessarily of pain, but of the sights, sounds, and smells of a dental office. Others worry about germs. Whichever fear you have, understanding the hygiene procedures that dental offices follow can help. Here is what you should know.
Modern dental offices are clean and well-kept, with sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming taking place frequently. But because it is a medical facility, your dental office goes far beyond these basic cleaning procedures.
Dentists, dental technicians, and hygienists wear gloves whenever they come into contact with a patient’s mouth. This protects them from germs the patient may be carrying, but it also protects you against any germs that might be on their hands. Depending on the procedure you are having, they may also wear disposable face masks and gowns. Just like any other medical professional, this protects them from saliva and blood that could splash around, and it protects you from having your dental professional sneeze or cough in your face.
Spray disinfectants are used liberally, both in the waiting room and in the treatment rooms. This helps to guard against common colds and other easily transmitted illnesses.
Reusable dental tools are required by law to undergo an extensive sterilization process between patients. Increasingly, many dentists are using disposable tools instead. That way, they simply have to open a new pack for each patient. If you ever see someone at your dental office using a package of tools that is already open, ask for an explanation.
Protective Eyewear for Patients
Some dentists now provide protective eyewear for their patients, although this is not yet standard. There are a few reasons for this. One is to protect you from the glare of the light, which must be very bright to properly illuminate the back of your mouth.
In addition, dental tools contacting your teeth and gums can cause fluids to splash. Protective eyewear prevents those fluids from getting into your eyes. Likewise, since your dentist or hygienist is always above you, it is smart to protect your eyes from an errant cough or sneeze, especially if the dental professional is not wearing a mask.
Finally, dental tools tend to be sharp and/or heavy. If one is dropped, protective eyewear can ensure that you do not end up with eye damage.
Protective Eyewear for Dental Workers
Likewise, many dental offices now have employees wear protective eyewear or face shields when treating patients. This protects their eyes from your coughs or sneezes, as well as from being splashed with your blood or saliva.
Many patients find dental dams uncomfortable, but they are very important. Made from thin latex, the dental dam separates the area that is being worked on from the rest of your mouth. This provides the dentist, tech, or hygienist with a clear view of the working area. It also helps to reduce the amount of fluid exchange with the rest of your mouth, making it easier to contain blood and tooth fragments and to clean you up when your procedure is finished.
Want to Learn More?
If you want to learn more about how we can keep your entire family’s smiles in tip top shape, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 for more information or to schedule an appointment.