The most important time of day to floss is before bedtime. When you sleep, saliva flow slows down and if food is left in between teeth, bacteria have a solid 8 hours to break teeth down with their acids without worry of being rinsed away by saliva.
Signs you are Not Flossing Properly?
Bleeding gums upon brushing or flossing. If your gums are bleeding when brushing or flossing you have a form of periodontal disease called gingivitis. Gingivitis is reversible once you are regularly brushing, flossing, and go for regular professional cleanings. If the supporting tissues surrounding your teeth begin to breakdown then you have a more advanced form of periodontal disease called periodontitis. Periodontitis is not reversible without intervention.
Plaque Build-Up and food debris along gum line and between teeth. Flossing is able to reach areas that brushing alone cannot reach.
Lack of flossing will lead to tooth cavities in between teeth (also called interproximal decay). A good tip is to use a disclosing solution before brushing and flossing. It will colour your plaque a colour like bright purple. This will give adults and children a good visual to see what areas they might be missing.
Proper Flossing Technique
Start with about 18-24 inches of floss. Then wind a good portion of the floss around each middle finger. Make sure to leave an inch or two of floss to use for the actual flossing of your teeth.
Hold the floss tight between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up and down between your teeth. Do not shoeshine side to side as you can wear notches into the teeth over time. Some teeth with tight contacts may be difficult to floss thru. Try using a thinner Teflon type of floss.
Be diligent and make sure to get in between the tight spaces.
Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth one by one. It is important to ensure you go below the gum line. Never try to snap the floss in between the teeth as this may injure the gum tissues.
Make sure to use clean sections of floss as you advance around your mouth.
To remove the floss, use the same up and down movement to bring the floss up and away from the teeth.
Best Types of Floss
Depending upon your particular needs, there are many types of floss to choose from:
Dental tape is great for teeth with spaces between them
Woven yarn floss is for periodontal problem areas
Thin Teflon floss is for tight contacting teeth,
Fluoride floss is for people who are prone to cavities between teeth,
Stain removing floss is for smokers and heavy tea/ coffee drinkers,
Any flavour or type of floss that you feel comfortable using and use regularly is fine.
And there you have it, an easy guide to flossing to help maintain your oral hygiene and your smile for years to come.
The information contained in this article is intended to give you general information and it is not intended to replace professional medical advice.
If you wish to receive professional advice regarding flossing techniques and your overall oral hygiene, it is advised that you contact the Wisdom Teeth Professionals in Sydney by giving Dr. Paulo Pinho a call on 1300 217 858.