It is not uncommon for even the most diligent dental patients to skimp on flossing from time to time. This is a problem, because flossing is an important part of any at-home oral hygiene routine. Our Saint Louis dentists are here to help you improve your flossing routine, so that you can keep your smile as clean and healthy as possible day-to-day.
Let’s start by talking about the right time to floss your smile. For most patients, it’s best to floss at night right before brushing. This allows you to dislodge any dental debris and bacteria that have accumulated between your teeth during the day, and then promptly brush it out of your mouth.
Floss comes in a number of different widths. Make sure that you choose a width that fits comfortably between all of your teeth, and that is able to glide down the full length of your teeth into the spaces in which your gum tissue and dental enamel meet.
Start by cutting off a long strip of floss, and then move down the length of floss as you clean your smile. You don’t want to use the same portion of your string of floss on multiple teeth, as this can inadvertently compound plaque.
As you move from tooth to tooth, guide the floss up and down the full length of your tooth, moving it from side to side slightly in order to get as much plaque as possible. If you’ve been out of the habit of flossing, you may notice that your gum tissue is prone to bleeding when you floss. Gum bleeding should dissipate as you begin to floss regularly again; if it doesn’t, talk to your dentist about any special measures you should take to protect your gums.
Many patients are surprised at how much fresher and cleaner their smiles feel once they start flossing again. Now is the time to get back on track! Please feel free to call our St. Louis dentists for more information on how to care for your smile at home, and how to floss properly.