Flossing 101: A Guide to Cleaning Between Your Teeth
Flossing your teeth is every bit as important as brushing them, as it can help prevent the development of cavities and gum disease by keeping plaque from building up in places where toothbrush bristles usually can't reach. Unfortunately, many people who try to incorporate flossing into their oral care routine aren't familiar with proper flossing technique. So, how do you ensure that you are flossing correctly? The Peterborough dentists at Lakeridge Dentistry have put together a handy guide to help you out.
Choosing a Type of Floss
Floss is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and that's okay because there are so many different types of floss to choose from. Dental floss comes in variations such as waxed, unwaxed, thick, thin, and even flavoured. There are some great alternatives to dental floss as well, such as disposable flossing sticks, water flossers, and even a wooden plaque remover. All can work effectively as long as you use them regularly, so choose whichever type you most prefer.
How Often to Floss
While you should brush your teeth at least twice a day, you only need to floss your teeth once a day. Make sure you stick to a strict daily schedule, however, as plaque needs only 24 hours to turn into a sticky, hardened substance known as tartar. Once plaque has hardened into tartar, only a professional cleaning can remove it.
Then there's the question of whether it's better to floss in the morning or in the evening. Any Peterborough dentist will tell you that you should choose whichever time you are most motivated to floss, as it is far more important that you floss regularly than what time of day you do it.
How to Floss
Dentists in Peterborough recommend that, while flossing, you should floss both sides of each tooth from top to bottom at least three times. Taking your time is the best way to ensure that you do a thorough job. Use enough force to remove plaque and food particles, but not so much that you end up hurting your gums.
Many people stop flossing because, when they first take it up, they notice that their gums bleed and feel a little tender. This is usually perfectly normal for the first week or so and will stop happening as you continue flossing. If it does not stop or if your gums bleed excessively, then you should make an appointment to see your dentist.
Get More Flossing Tips from a Dentist in Peterborough
Since everyone's oral health needs are unique, it's always a good idea to ask your dentist for personalized flossing tips. Also keep in mind that, even if you are brushing and flossing your teeth, you still need to visit your Peterborough dentist for a complete teeth cleaning and examination on a regular basis. Brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist are the key components to good oral health.
To schedule an appointment with one of the Peterborough dentists at Lakeridge Dentistry, don't hesitate to contact us today.