Removing plaque and other residues from our teeth is crucial to maintaining the look and feel of our smiles and to preventing severe dental damage. We practice oral hygiene to keep our teeth clean, which entails brushing teeth twice each day and flossing daily.
Flossing between your teeth will preserve your smile, but many dental patients may not be practicing this hygienic technique properly. Dr. Melvin Benson, a dentist located in Greeley, CO, lists several tips to boost your flossing abilities as you complete your oral hygiene routine.
Keep a Firm, Precise Grip on Your Floss
To get a more precise and thorough clean for your teeth while flossing, you should ensure you grip your floss properly. A solid grip will allow you to maneuver your floss between your teeth effectively and with ease.
Ideally, you should use about 18 inches of floss and wrap each end around the middle fingers of both hands. Then you can hold the floss between your index fingers and thumbs of each hand, creating a stable foundation.
This leaves you with about an inch of floss for you to insert and move between your teeth. As you clean each tooth, you should pull the floss to reveal a clean section once you have used the prior bit.
Move Your Floss with Purpose
When you have a secure hold on your floss, you should next ensure that the motions you use while cleaning your teeth are effective. You should insert the floss between teeth, press it against one side, rub it up and down, switch the pressure to the side of the other tooth, and repeat the motion.
You can continue this process for each tooth on both the top and bottom arches. Use gentle movements to avoid irritating your gums and causing them to bleed.
This routine will remove plaque, food particles, and other residues that may become trapped between teeth and erode the enamel in that spot. Effective cleaning can prevent cavities and other structural dental damage.
Consider Alternative Flossing Tools
Traditional floss is a highly effective way to keep your smile clean, but your dentist can show you alternative ways to remove dangerous particles between your teeth.
For instance, individuals undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces may have trouble navigating string floss between their metal wires and brackets. A floss pick features string floss attached to a plastic handle, which allows better flexibility to maneuver around oral appliances.
A water pick is another flossing device that utilizes a stream of water to clean between teeth. Dental patients with implants or other tooth replacements may benefit from this dental tool.
Get More Oral Hygiene Tips from Your Greeley, CO Dentist
Integrated Dental Arts provides optimal preventative and emergency dental care to patients of all ages. Dr. Benson is a highly qualified dentist practicing in Greeley, CO who specializes in implant, restorative, cosmetic, and general dentistry, including periodontal care. To schedule an appointment with our practice, contact our office by phone at 970.281.5972 or reach our staff online.