How Can I Floss Better?

woman with a bright smile starting to floss her teeth

If you’re not flossing regularly, Here's how you can start to floss better.

Skipping flossing means you’re missing out on cleaning a large portion of your teeth. The gum line can collect bacteria and debris, which can lead to inflammation, gingivitis, and periodontal disease, to name a few. That’s why you need to be flossing daily with a dentist-approved technique.

To find out how you can floss better and improve your oral health, here are a few tips to consider.

  1. Floss More Frequently

    Many people forget to floss, and others will avoid it due to bleeding gums that can occur as a result. But if you find that your gums start to bleed when flossing, it’s a good indication that you should be doing it more often.

    The bleeding should subside within a week once the bacteria is removed and the gums have strengthened. However, if you still notice bleeding after approximately 10 days of regular flossing, then it’s time to see your dentist.

  2. Floss After Meals

    We’ve all been there – you’re eating lunch at work, and a bit of your food gets lodged in between your teeth. Instead of getting rid of it, you just ignore it because you don’t have any floss on hand.

    This may seem like an innocent act, but if it’s not removed right away, the bacteria will start to thrive and release acids that can cause your gums to become inflamed. To avoid this from happening, start a routine that involves flossing after lunch and right before bed.

  3. Know What Type is Best For You

    No two people are exactly alike, and the same thing goes for our teeth. So what works for someone else might not necessarily work for you. For instance, if you have sensitive gums, it’s best to use a comfort floss.

    If you have wider spaces between your teeth, dental tape is a better option. And for those with mobility problems, flossers are easier to use than standard floss. Talk to your dentist to find out what type is best for you to help get the most out of your flossing.

  4. Try A Water Flosser

    Floss isn’t for everyone. If you don’t like to floss or if you’re prone to plaque build-up, you might want to switch to using a water flosser.

    These small hand-held devices can effectively remove the plaque along the gum line. Through a pulse rate of water that shoots out from the tip, the water flosser can directly target plaque and break it upon impact.

  5. Use Waxed Floss

    When it comes to choosing the best type of floss, wax will perform better than un-waxed and nylon flosses. This is mostly because it glides more easily between your teeth. Nylon also tends to shred easily, which leaves behind small pieces in your teeth.

Do I Still Have to Floss Even If I Brush Regularly?

The simple answer is yes. Flossing is an essential part of dental hygiene and shouldn’t be skipped.

Brushing regularly is crucial, but it only cleans the surfaces of your teeth. Flossing is designed to remove food particles, plaque, and bacteria from between your teeth and under the gumline, areas that a toothbrush cannot reach effectively.

Without flossing, you're leaving a significant portion of your mouth's surfaces unclean, which can lead to cavities, gum disease, and even bad breath. Regular flossing, therefore, is highly recommended by dental professionals as a critical step towards maintaining overall oral health.

How Does Flossing Improve Gum Health?

Regular flossing plays a crucial role in the health of your gums by removing plaque that forms along the gum line. Plaque left unchecked can lead to tartar buildup, which irritates the tissues and causes inflammation, leading to gingivitis.

As the first stage of gum disease, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis if left untreated, where the gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that become infected.

Flossing daily helps prevent these conditions by disrupting and removing the bacterial colonies that form plaque, thus preserving the integrity of your gum tissue and promoting a healthier oral environment.

Should I Floss Before or After Brushing?

The sequence of flossing and brushing has been a subject of debate among dental professionals.

However, studies suggest that flossing before brushing may be more effective in removing the dental plaque that leads to tartar buildup and gum disease. This is because flossing first dislodges food and plaque between teeth, and subsequent brushing further cleans and flushes away these particles from the mouth.

Furthermore, if fluoride toothpaste is used after flossing, there's an increased chance for fluoride to reach between the teeth, providing better protection against tooth decay. Ultimately, the most important aspect is that both flossing and brushing are performed diligently daily.

If you’ve been wondering how to floss better, consider each of these tips to help improve your technique. Without a diligent flossing routine, you’re only halfway to having a clean and healthy smile.

For more tips on how to step up your oral care habits, contact us at Dow’s Lake Dental to schedule your next appointment.