Adults and children often have difficulty managing their oral health because they feel like the process of maintaining their teeth takes too long and involves too much effort. Yet, the process is usually made more complex and lengthy because of how they approach it. You can simplify your flossing routine. Allow these tips to guide you:
Use Enough String Floss
Many people use disposable floss picks instead of string because they believe incorrectly that they can clean their teeth faster. The problem is that these tools don’t remove as many food particles as string floss. Instead, you should only use them after meals to remove large pieces of debris trapped between teeth that cause you discomfort. Otherwise, for twice-daily cleanings, a good waxed or glide string floss slides smoothly against surfaces and reaches the hard-to-reach spots between teeth or fillings and behind the last molars.
The American Dental Association recommends that you use at least 18 inches of string floss so that you can maintain a solid grip on it and don’t need to repeatedly stop the process to yank more floss from the container. To prevent string fraying and snapping that can also slow you down, never reuse a section of floss. Move to the next clean inch or so of string as you move to each unclean tooth.
Stick With a Method
Some dentists recommend flossing first so that the beneficial ingredients in toothpaste, such as fluoride, can saturate cleaned areas around and below the gumline. They also argue that the use of mouthwash after brushing can wash away ingredients that help remineralize teeth. Yet, other dentists worry that their patients push particles deep below the gumline when they floss before brushing. Many people also use mouthwash at the end because they have sensitive mouths even with gentle brushing and need to use it last to prevent sores.
Whatever method you believe in, all dentists agree that their patients must at least perform all three actions in order to protect their teeth, gums, and overall oral health. To prevent habitual instances of “I’ll floss later” when busy, which can happen with patients who become frustrated with the string flossing process, always stick with your order and method. Otherwise, you might have to floss more or deal with a longer professional dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar buildup or treat gum disease.
Pick Electric Dental Tools
If you can’t stand the string flossing process or you don’t have enough mobility with your hands to floss thoroughly in a gentle fashion without speeding through the process on a regular basis, talk with your dentist about mixing up manual and electric processes to give your hands a break. This isn’t a deviation from flossing as long as you floss primarily with string.
Several manufacturers have created water flossers to help people remove food particles by injecting pressurized water between teeth. You should still use string whenever you have the time and feel well enough, if possible. That said, if you’re too tired, in a rush or your hands hurt, your dentist might recommend that you use an electric toothbrush and water flosser or a combination toothbrush and flosser at least once a day or every other day. Again, this doesn’t substitute string floss entirely, but it’s better than not flossing at all when you don’t feel like bothering with string.
See a Dentist Regularly
Lastly, people often have complicated flossing routines because they skip professional cleanings and allow the buildup of plaque and tartar which can make it harder for them to floss. Hardened or sticky materials on tooth surfaces and below the gum line can make it difficult for a person to determine if they’re cleaning their teeth enough. As a result, they can take longer each time because they missed areas during previous cleanings.
Additionally, a dentist can smooth rough edges on teeth and prior fillings that happen naturally over time and snag, fray or snap string floss. By seeing a dentist regularly to take care of these problems, you speed up your daily flossing by simply making the surfaces of each tooth cleaner and smoother.
At RenovaSmiles, we want you to have a bright, healthy smile for the rest of your life, which is why we offer advice like this to make the process of maintaining your teeth and gums easier. We also offer deep cleaning and other functional and cosmetic services. For more information about this topic or to schedule an oral exam and cleaning, reach out to one of our caring staff members today.