Only Floss the Teeth You Want to Keep

Only Floss the Teeth You Want to Keep
Posted on 09/28/2016

Only Floss the Teeth You Want to Keep

Have you ever realized that you have a dentist or orthodontic appointment tomorrow and then you remember that you haven’t been flossing? Well, even though we appreciate your hard work those few minutes before your appointment of making sure your teeth are looking beautiful – you aren’t fooling us – we know that you haven’t been regularly flossing those pearly whites. So, because of that here are some helpful hints and tips about how to floss and what kind of floss could be best for you!

If you don’t know how to properly floss then that could be one of the major reason why you aren’t taking extra care of those teeth of yours! Here are some guidelines to follow while flossing:

·         Start with around 18 inches of floss, and wind the majority of those 18 inches around the middle finger on each of your hands, with about an inch or two that will actually be flossing at first

·         Hold the floss tautly between your thumb and index fingers (it should look like a tight rope between your fingers) then begin to gently slide the floss up and down between your teeth

·         Make sure while you are gently sliding the floss up and down between teeth you are also following the curve of the base of each tooth and make sure to go beneath the gumline.

·         Never snap or force the floss in between your teeth because this might cut or bruise your delicate gum tissue

·         Everytime you move from tooth to tooth make sure to use a clean section of the floss

·         When removing the floss from in between teeth, use the same back and forth motion to bring the floss up and away from your teeth

Now the next mystery is what kind of floss you should choose while you are shopping around. There are many different kinds of floss so let me help by giving you some ideas of what each floss is best used for. First there is traditional floss which is either made of nylon or polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) – if you aren’t a science person, you may recognize the floss by the kind that can shred because it is made up of many filaments (nylon floss) and then the floss that will not shred while you’re using it (PTFE floss). Both of these types of floss work well at getting rid of plaque and food debris so it is really just finding your preference.

Floss 2     Floss 1

Of course if you have braces, a bonded retainer, bridges, or any other dental appliance you are used to using floss threaders. This way works as if you were sewing in between your teeth, you put the floss through the threader loop and then you use the floss threader to guide the floss underneath your brackets or over your bridges. Then floss like you normally would, just taking that extra step to thread the floss between each tooth every time.

For those of you that don’t enjoy using the regular string floss and looping it around your fingers, there are flossers or floss picks. These are easy on the go flossing which feature a handle that is sometimes pointed to act like a toothpick and the floss is strung between the other end. These are easy things to carry in your purse, briefcase or pocket to use in a time of need. If you use these for your regular flossing needs dentists recommend that you rinse the floss frequently or wipe the floss after using it between each tooth that way you can have a clean piece for every tooth.

Water flossers are always a good option too – especially if you aren’t able to use traditional floss for your teeth. The water flossers are a handheld tool that cleans between your teeth with fine streams of water that wash away any plaque or food particles. A recent study from the Journal of Clinical Dentistry actually found that water flossers and traditional toothbrushing can remove more plaque than regular toothbrushing and traditional floss. So if you feel like making an investment in your oral health maybe the water flosser is the thing for you!

I hope this helped to clarify those questions you may have about flossing. And maybe you’ll start flossing your teeth regularly and not just the day before your next dental or orthodontist visit!  Don’t forget to keep those teeth looking brand new – it will definitely help you in the long run! And once I visit you after you lose your first set of teeth your next set is there to stay forever! So just remember take care of the teeth you want to keep!


Until next time...XOXO the Tooth Fairy