Flossing should be done every day, as it removes the plaque and food between your teeth that brushing alone cannot. It also has the added benefit of increasing blood circulation in your gums. Stimulating the gums is necessary to keep the gum tissue healthy and healthy strong gums are the foundation of your teeth. Dr. Bubanovich recommends that you floss once a day, preferably at nighttime before bed. This helps protect your teeth during sleep, when harmful plaque can do a lot of damage.
- Remove a piece of floss as long as the tip of your fingers to your elbow. Wrap most of it around one of your middle fingers and the rest around your other middle finger.
- Grip the floss tightly between your thumb and index fingers.
- Slide the floss gently between your teeth.
- Having placed the floss between your teeth and up to your gum, curve it into a C-shape and gently slide it up and down along your tooth and in the space between your tooth and gum.
Do this between each of your teeth, and don’t forget to roll off clean floss as you move to other teeth. Don’t be alarmed if your gums slightly bleed the first time you floss. This is normal and will cease when your gums become used to flossing.
Some people may find flossing to difficult or painful as a result of sensitive gums or gum disease. Also, those who wear braces or have delicate bridge work, may find flossing ineffective. One popular alternative to flossing is a water pick, or irrigator. It is a device that uses powerful bursts of water to blast away food particles and debris in hard-to-reach areas of your mouth.
But remember one thing: Never use a toothpick as a substitute for flossing. Toothpicks can tear delicate gum tissue and may damage existing dental restorations. Another option is antibacterial rinses, both over the counter and prescription.