Your teeth may be tough, but they're not indestructible. Habits that may seem harmless - like chewing on ice - can damage your smile and lead to extensive dental work. Keep your dentist happy by f ...View Article
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3 Step Guide to the Correct Way to Floss
Flossing is most effective if you do it the same way every time. It does not matter if you start with your top or bottom teeth first, as long as you follow the same procedure each time you floss. If you are not sure that you are flossing correctly, take a look at this three-step guide.
Step One. Pull out at least 18 inches of floss from the dispenser. Wrap it around the middle fingers on each hand. Rub the floss up and down between each tooth, using your thumb and forefinger to control the movement of the floss.
Step Two. When you reach the gum line, curve the floss into a C-shape and gently floss the area where your tooth meets the gum.
Step Three: Move on to a fresh section of floss and work on the next tooth. Each time you floss another tooth, use a new floss section.
Do not be surprised if your gums bleed a little the first time if you have not flossed on a regular basis for a while. If bleeding continues even after you become a devoted flosser, mention the problem to your dentist.
Does flossing seem like a waste of time? If you are a thorough tooth brusher, you may wonder if there is really anything that flossing can do that brushing cannot. After you spend several minutes scrubbing your teeth, what is the point of running a tiny piece of floss through them? Although brushing is an effective way to reduce cavity-causing plaque, brushing alone does not get rid of every speck of plaque.
What Does Flossing Do For My Teeth?
Flossing is very effective at removing bits of food from between your teeth, but that is not the only thing it does. When you eat, plaque, a colorless, bacteria-laden film forms on your teeth. Have you ever run your tongue over your teeth and noticed that they felt sticky? That sticky feeling was caused by a thin layer of plaque.
The bacteria in plaque combines with the sugars in the foods and beverages you consume to create acid. Although your tooth enamel is very strong, it's no match for acid. Acid breaks down the enamel and causes cavities. Flossing physically removes the plaque between your teeth. Without plaque, acid cannot attack your teeth.
Removing plaque not only decreases tooth decay, but also helps keep your gums healthy. Plaque eventually turns into a deposit called tartar if it is not removed from your teeth. Tartar is so hard that it can only be chipped away with special dental instruments. When tartar forms at your gum line, it can cause gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss if it is not treated.
When Should I Floss?
There is no better way to start an argument than to ask your friends what time of day they think is the best time to floss. Some of them will swear that evening flossing is best, while others will insist that flossing is best when done first thing in the morning. The truth is that it does not matter when you floss, as long as you do it every day. Anyone who has teeth, whether they are 2 or 90, should floss. Dentists usually recommend that children start flossing when at least two teeth grow in next to each other.
What Type of Floss Should I Use?
The floss type you use depends on your teeth and your personal preferences. Some people like waxed floss because it tends to glide between the teeth easier, while others prefer unwaxed versions. If your teeth are fairly close together, thin floss will fit into the tight spaces better than flat dental floss. Flat floss can be a good choice if you have more space around your teeth.
Using a special flossing tool is a good idea if it's tough to reach all of the nooks and crannies in your mouth. Flossing picks and brushes make it easier to floss back teeth, particularly if your mouth is small. If you or your children wear braces, you know that maneuvering floss around wires and brackets can be difficult. Floss threaders and water flossers help you remove all of the plaque that can accumulate around your braces. Floss threaders are also very effective in removing plaque under bridges.
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