What’s number one when it comes to caring for your teeth? Brushing! Who is number one’s best friend? Flossing, of course! Even though flossing is so beneficial, it often gets booted to the number two ranking viewed as a “less important” technique for oral health.
We are here to give flossing a lot more credit because brushing alone simply cannot reach the stubborn places that flossing can. You may not even notice, but plaque, bacteria, and food collect between our teeth. If not removed with floss, it is likely that oral health issues down the road will arise.
While flossing may not be your number one for a New Year’s resolution or goal, it definitely deserves a second look, especially if you are not flossing regularly. We are here to tell you that it is never too late to start a healthy habit. No more excuses!
Flossing Has Options Too You Know
Flossing need not be a dreaded experience because many different types of flossing methods exist to appeal to your inclinations. While one type of floss works for one, another may be better for another to stay committed. If you need options to fit your preference, we have you covered.
Good Old String Floss (or on a pick)
String floss is a popular option that can get the job done if executed correctly. You may have noticed that string floss comes as either “waxed” or “unwaxed.” The difference between the two is minimal, but many tend to go for “waxed” floss because of its ability to easily slide between teeth. No matter the type, keep in mind that there is no need to be forceful when flossing. Instead, aim to reach areas that your brush doesn’t.
To effectively make use of string floss, you can use about 18 inches to start. Wrapping the string ends around your index fingers will help with grip and mobility. Get the string in between the teeth with an up and down motion, creating a “C” shape around each side of the tooth. In making this shape this will hit the pocket as well. The “pocket” is the space between the bottom of your tooth and the gum. To clear up any confusion, we have provided a video to demonstrate (and it is under 1 minute!): http://bit.ly/flossexpertyt.
However, if using floss string isn’t appealing but you still want to use string, choose an alternative. Go for a floss pick where the string is suspended for you by the wand, making the act easier, especially for those not used to flossing. You can still get in between the teeth and make that “C” shape around the sides of the teeth. It’s the one letter of the alphabet that your teeth need to be familiar with.
The soft pick option is our personal favorite, and we highly recommend it. As a wand with rubber, flexible bristles on one end, it stands out to simplify flossing while hitting all of the hard-to-reach places at the same time. All you need to do is move the bristles in and out of the teeth, making sure you are massaging the gums as well. The bristles will be left to do their magic.
Oral Irrigator (Waterpik)
Mimicking the shape of a toothbrush, the Waterpik is connected to a reservoir unit that allows it to jet water out at a high speed. When using a Waterpik, you will lean over a sink and close your lips around the tip in order to evade messes from splashing. Aim the water at your gumline and walk it across the length of each tooth. That’s all there is to it!
Pearly Whites All Year Long!
To create a year-long habit with flossing, consistency is your ticket to success. Try to pair it with brushing or a certain time of day when you know you have a spare minute or two. If you have to start smaller and work up, such as starting 5 times a week instead of all 7, then by all means, do what it takes to go all the way. Remember that if you are flossing for the first time in a while, bleeding is normal and should go away with daily application. No matter the floss type you choose, your mouth will undoubtedly thank you for committing to your oral health in 2019.
After the New Year is a great time to check in with your dentist. Reach Out to us! What better way to start fresh?