Today we are going to talk about a topic that a lot of kids and parents rolls their eyes at…flossing!
There are tons of excuses not to floss! People claim they don’t feel like they don’t need to if they don’t get food stuck in between their teeth. Even if you don’t feel a chunk of food or debris there, plaque accumulates in between the teeth and needs to be removed on a daily basis to prevent cavities and gum disease.
Unlike a toothbrush that cleans the tops and sides of the teeth, floss is an interdental cleaner that removes plaque from in between the teeth. The American Dental Association released the following guidelines to floss properly:
- Use 18 inches of floss. Wrap most of it around the middle finger of one hand, the rest around your other middle finger.
- Grasp the string tightly between your thumb and forefinger, and use a rubbing motion to guide it between teeth.
- When the floss reaches the gum line, form a C to follow the shape of the tooth.
- Hold the strand firmly against the tooth, and move it gently up and down.
- Repeat with the other tooth, and then repeat the entire process with the rest of your teeth.
- Use fresh sections of floss as you go.
These are great tips, but some of our patients ask for and prefer flossers. We use these at the office for many of our patients and they look like a horse shoe with floss in between. Many patients find them easier to use than regular floss. Both options are equally effective as long as they are used!