Something you’ll likely hear each time you visit the dentist, flossing your teeth can sometimes seem harder than it should be.
But it IS important. For not only your teeth, but also your gums, your whole body health, as well as your loved ones’.
So, what are the recommended guidelines? Read below to find out more about how you can care for your teeth.
The recommended guidelines are to floss your teeth once a day.
The reason being is that plaque accumulates and builds up on your teeth, and by removing it every 24 hours you prevent it from being able to absorb ‘Calcium’ and other minerals from your saliva and food. If plaque absorbs these minerals it becomes hardened and is commonly known as ‘Tartar’ or ‘Calculus’ and is so hard, that brushing, no matter how hard, will not remove it. It needs to be removed by a dental clinician.
So by flossing, you’re removing this plaque before it becomes hardened like this between your teeth, which helps avoid future dental visits and problems arising between your teeth and gumline.
How To Floss Basics
- Remove about an 18-inch strip of floss from the dispenser.
- Wind the floss around the middle fingers of each hand, leaving a 1-inch section open for flossing. Floss the top teeth first, then the bottom.
- Place the floss in your mouth and use your index fingers to push the floss between the teeth. Be careful not to push too hard and injure the gums.
- Move the floss up and down against the tooth and up and around the gum line. The floss should form a C-shape around the tooth as you floss.
- Floss between each tooth as well as behind the back teeth.
- Use a clean section of floss as needed and take up used floss by winding it around the fingers.
What Else Can I Do?
Antibacterial mouth rinses (some with fluoride too), can reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease.
It’s recommended to eat a variety of foods but eat fewer foods that contain sugars and starches. Why? These foods directly feed the bacteria in plaque, causing it to grow faster and generate more acids. These acids burn into and damage the teeth. Hard candies are notoriously bad because they give a constant supply of sugar for a long time.
Avoid soft drinks or acidic foods. Soft drinks – even diet ones, often have a ‘citric acid’ or ‘food acid’ in them to make them taste enjoyable on the tongue and give that ‘zing’ or ‘fizzy’ flavour. This acid doesn’t even need bacteria in plaque to do damage to your teeth and are recommended to be enjoyed only on occasions.
Rinse with water. After eating or drinking something sweet, or acidic. It is also recommended to swish your mouth with some water to help remove the sugars from the mouth and get your mouth back to neutral.
These tips are just general guidelines. The hardest thing about flossing is making it a habit. After you do it more regularly, you’ll become more comfortable with it, it won’t hurt and it becomes faster. Find something that helps you incorporate it into your daily regime – whether it’s flossing in front of the TV, or having floss at your computer desk to remind you.