When it comes to morning dental routines we can all become complacent. When we brush teeth first thing in the morning we are generally all in a mixed state of waking up, thinking of the day ahead or trying to get the children organised.
If we actually pay attention to what we are doing, how many of us can remember how it is we should be brushing our teeth? Is it up down and then to the back? In a circular motion? Most, if not all, would have been taught by our parents many years ago.
Other than putting paste on your brush, brushing and spitting the white stuff out, nothing more would have been introduced to most of us. So what we should be doing, when we should be doing it and how we should be doing it is why we have created the B&W Good Teeth Guides.
Over the course of the series, we will share practical guidance to help you and your family maintain great oral health!
The first of our guides tackle flossing, no not the dance but the area of dental hygiene that is often the unsung and not so popular hero of a healthy mouth.
What is Flossing?
Flossing is a simple yet effective act of cleaning in between your teeth traditionally using dental floss. All you need to do is floss, brush and rinse!
Why Should You Floss?
There are so many benefits to flossing, once you start doing it you’ll be hooked and wonder why you had not been doing this already or at least more consistently.
- Brushing alone won’t get rid of plaque entirely, flossing is a great way to get a thorough clean and reduce your risks of tooth decay and gum disease
- Flossing is great at protecting against gingivitis as it helps by removing plaque and food particles
- Flossing after meals is a great way to freshen up your mouth and also keep your teeth clean especially during the day when it may not be convenient to brush them after lunch
Who should be flossing?
Everyone can floss. Even children can floss, although they will need your guidance and assistance but introducing this step in as early as possible to their daily routines means that their long term oral health will be greatly improved.
How Should You Floss?
At Bright and White Dental practice we recommend using an airfloss which is very effective at removing plaque and particles from teeth, environmentally friendly and can be used with water or your favourite mouthwash. However, if this is a little out of your price range you we recommend using an eco friendly floss made of bamboo or silk over a plastic based floss if possible.
Flossing with an Air Floss
Is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
- Fill your Air Floss with Water or Mouthwash
- Pick the setting that suits your gums and teeth
- Blast the Air Floss in between and around the base of your teeth
Flossing with Dental Floss
- Take about 15 – 20 inches of floss, or however much you need to give you enough space to work between the teeth whilst remaining taught
- Hold the floss between your thumbs and index fingers, and begin to gently slide the floss up-and-down between your teeth.
- It is important to use gentle movements when you clean around the base of the tooth and take care when you go beneath your gum line.
- Use clean sections of the floss for each tooth, or change the floss if you need to
- To remove the floss from between your teeth, especially when the space is quite tight do not tug! Use the same gentle back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and gently pull away from the teeth
How Should You Floss Children’s Teeth?
Make sure that you are using a dental floss that is soft on their teeth either a bamboo or silk floss will do this.
- Take about 15 – 20 inches of floss, or however much you need to give you enough space to work between the teeth whilst remaining taught.
- Gently slide it down between your child’s teeth with your thumb and index fingers holding the floss taut. Be careful not to snap it down on the gums.
- Curve the floss around each tooth in a “C” shape. Use only very gentle movements, slide it up and down the sides of each tooth, including under the gum line. Unroll a new section of floss as you move from tooth to tooth.
When you floss children’s teeth there may be some bleeding initially, this should stop after a few days of flossing. However, if this does not please book in to see your dentist.
If you are worried about flossing for the first time or having difficulties with flossing we would be more than happy to help you get started, book an appointment with our Dental Hygiene Centre for an Air Flow treatment which is currently the latest and most effective dental hygiene treatment for removing stains, plaque and tartar using a jet of air, sodium bicarbonate and water.