Throughout our busy schedules, natural bacteria in our mouths create plaque over our teeth. This plaque can damage our smiles, so we remove it with oral hygiene practices, including brushing teeth and flossing.
Flossing is an important step in maintaining your oral health, but many people do not execute this process correctly. Dr. Greg Reece, a dentist located in Charlotte, NC, outlines the optimal flossing technique so that you can keep your teeth clean.
Hold Floss Properly
To get your teeth effectively clean, you should hold your floss so that you can maneuver the string between your teeth with ease and accuracy. You should wrap each end of an 18-inch portion of floss around the middle finger of each hand.
Then you can grip the floss between your thumb and index fingers of both hands, leaving approximately one inch of floss to be used to clean your teeth. As you progress through your mouth, you can pull the string around your middle fingers to release a clean section of floss after using the previous bit.
Pay Attention to Floss Positioning
When you have a secure hold on your floss, you can gently insert the floss between your teeth. For a thorough clean, you should press the floss tightly against the tooth and rub it up and down to remove trapped plaque and other residues.
You should follow these steps for all of your teeth on both the top and bottom arches. To avoid irritating your gums, use careful movements. Talk to your dentist if you notice chronic bleeding or soreness in your gums, as this could signify periodontal disease.
Consider Additional Flossing Tools
Dentists agree that this traditional flossing technique is effective for keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy. However, individuals with specific dental concerns or oral devices may have difficulty using string floss.
Patients with braces or other orthodontic appliances may benefit from the flexibility of floss picks, which feature a string of floss stretched across a plastic handle. Those with dental implants or other fixtures may prefer a water pick, which utilizes an irrigator to generate a stream of water that cleans your mouth.
Learn More Tips from Your Dentist in Charlotte, NC
Dentistry of the Queen City provides dental cleanings and other preventative dental care for patients of all ages. Dr. Reece is a highly qualified dentist in Charlotte, NC who specializes in general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, including dental implants. To schedule an appointment or consultation with us, contact our staff online or reach our office by phone at 704.486.8911.