Our Oral Health Therapists (Dental Hygienists) often remark that most people will remember to brush their teeth every day but it is often the flossing and the cleaning in between teeth that is neglected. Unfortunately, as much as a toothbrush can be advertised to have “flossing action” or to have “excellent reach”, only floss can remove bacterial plaque and food particles which gather under the gum line and in between the teeth. This plaque build up can potentially lead to bigger problems such as tooth decay and cavities, it is important to floss your teeth daily – all surfaces of them. An easy way to think of this is that there are 5 surfaces to a tooth and brushing only cleans 3. It is also important to employ a good flossing technique to receive the maximum benefits. Below are guidelines from Colgate for a proper flossing technique:
- Starting with about 18 inches (45cm) of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with
- Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth
- Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gum line. Never snap or force the floss, as this may cut or bruise delicate gum tissue
- Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth
- To remove the floss, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth
To keep the teeth and gums healthy, remember not to only to brush your teeth twice a day, but also “hug” them daily using the proper flossing technique described above!
At CDIC our Oral Health Therapists (Dental Hygienists) can help you improve your flossing technique and help you with a home care routine to lower your risk of dental decay or disease, call 03 9509 7356 to see one today!