It’s easy to run your floss between all your teeth. What’s harder to know is if you’re doing it right.
You’ve heard tell that if you floss too hard, you can force your gums to recede. If you don’t floss enough though, you won’t break up the organized plaque crime building up between the teeth.
So where’s that middle ground? How can you know you’re doing it right?
You’re not alone in this thinking. The following is a complied list on 8 ways you can know you’re doing it right.
First, floss gently. You can be thorough and gentle at the same time.
Don’t apply excessive pressure against your gums. Lightly move around the fleshy gums, but don’t be afraid to scrape against the tooth.
Second, don’t snap your floss between the two teeth. The intense pressure will hurt your gums.
Gently push the floss through the gap and avoid touching the gums. Third, gently move the floss under the gum line and floss up and down from there.
Your goal is to clean the tooth, not cut into the gums. Don’t push deeply into the gums.
That said, if your gums start bleeding as you start to get back into flossing, that’s normal. Your gums will get stronger as time goes on.
If your gums are still bleeding a couple weeks into the habit, you’re probably pushing too hard. Fourth, clean all edges of the tooth.
Pull the floss against the tooth side and curve your hands until you create a curved “C” with the floss. This way you’ll clean every edge of the tooth, keeping plaque from hardening.
Fifth, floss both sides of the tooth. Go into every gap and be sure to clean the outer edge of your furthest molars.
These are often missed so you need to spend some extra time back there to be the most effective. Sixth, put a new section of floss between every gap.
Don’t pull plaque from another tooth and plaster it on a new one. Otherwise you end up transferring dirt and grime around the teeth, rather than cleaning them completely.
Seventh, brush before you floss to remove as much plaque from the surface as possible. Don’t make your flosses job harder by leaving plaque there that your brush could have removed before.
Brush before you brush your teeth every time. It will always make your flossing more effective.
Eighth, swish around water after flossing to pick up the loose plaque that didn’t come out. You’ll be surprised what a thirty second rinse will do for your oral hygiene.
When you follow these 8 steps, you’ll be careful with your gums while properly cleansing your teeth. You only get two shots at keeping your natural teeth clean.
If you’re reading this blog then you’ve likely already lost your first set (baby teeth). Don’t ruin your second set.
Floss every day and make sure you’re doing it right. Your Santa Cruz dentist and your teeth will thank you throughout the years to come, even if you had to spend several tired evenings forcing yourself to brush and floss.