Ultimate Flossing Guide

Categories: Oral Health

flossing guideSanta Cruz, Scotts Valley CA

Brush and floss your teeth twice a day. That’s what we’re all taught as kids, but did anyone ever sit down and teach you the proper technique to floss? Dentists all across America find that a lot of their patients are not flossing the correct way. Your Los Gatos dentists at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry want to help you learn more about the options for flossing that could improve your dental hygiene.

String Floss

String flossing is the method you were introduced to as a child and the most commonly used method today. However, people still can make mistakes with string floss. When you’re using your string floss at home, and you notice blood (even the tiniest traces), you may be flossing too hard. Don’t force the floss in-between your teeth. Instead, gently move the floss back and forth until your string is placed safely between two teeth, as not to cause tissue damage to your gums.

Floss Picks

Floss picks are becoming increasingly popular and can be found in stores all across the nation. They look like a pronged toothpick with a strand of floss attached to each end of the prongs. Similar to string floss in many ways, floss picks also can cause tissue damage if forced between your teeth. This type of floss also should be slid back and forth gently until it is in between teeth. Since you don’t have to wrap a portion of the string around your fingers, the picks allow you to glide the floss along your teeth from top to bottom, around the curves of your tooth, until you’re done.

Water Flosser

Water flossers are less common but should be used in everyone’s daily teeth cleaning regimen along with regular flossing. The reason water flossers are so beneficial is that they provide an extra deep clean. They blast away food particles with water pressure. Cleaning around your gum line, these flossers heavily reduce your chances of gum disease or gingivitis. This benefits any person who has diabetes especially, as they suffer from increased risks of gum disease and gingivitis. Water flossers are also useful to anyone with braces or restorations such as bridgework or dental implants. Usually, it is a struggle to floss around braces and other restorative dental work, but the water flosser eliminates the struggle of getting the string from regular floss or a pick around your dental appliances.

Interdental Brushes

You may floss regularly and have seen the benefits, but interproximal plaque removal is an integral part of dental hygiene that many people don’t utilize. Interdental brushes appear like a toothpick but with a spiraling bit of bristles at the top. These brushes remove built-up plaque that sticks between larger tooth gaps. In order to properly use your interdental brush, you need to find the correct size. Many gaps are too wide for traditional flossing techniques, so, once you’re sized for the right interdental brush, you can gently clean your teeth. Do not ever force an interdental brush into a smaller gap than intended. Do not push your interdental brush into your gums, as this may damage them and cause bleeding or sensitivity. Interdental brushes can be bent at a 90-degree angle so as to not be used directly into the gums, and to reach those bicuspids or molars that we so often forget in our dental hygiene routine.

Scotts Valley Dentist

Not enough people are integrating proper flossing into their oral health care. In order to maintain your mouth’s health properly, you should consult the professionals at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry about your flossing habits. If you’re located in the areas of Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz, and Los Gatos in California, contact our office at (831) 438-4411 to make an appointment today.