The importance of flossing cannot be stressed enough. If you read most things I say on Facebook, it has to do with brushing or flossing. There is a reason for that.
The toothbrush cannot get between the teeth no matter how hard you try. Therefore, in order to remove plaque stuck between the teeth and under the gum line, you have to floss.
If you consume fizzy drinks or sugars, it is important to at least rinse your mouth, if you cannot brush or floss. One of our oldest patients is 104 years old and still has teeth. Of course genetics plays a part here, but for my purposes, I will not get into that. The point is that you can keep your teeth forever, if you look after them.
If you have not yet started to floss for whatever reason, below are the steps to help you understand the concept until you get the hang of it.
Interproximal brushes and floss pick
Besides using dental floss by itself, there is a variety of implements which can help you, such as a Y-shaped dental flosser or floss picks, if you are new to flossing or if you are teaching your child to floss. Super floss and interproximal brushes are especially helpful if you have braces or a bridge.
It can be difficult at first to get used to flossing, but in time it will become second nature.
Whatever way you choose to floss, the important thing is that you do it.
Start with about 45-50 cm of floss. Wrap most of it around the middle finger of one hand, the rest around the other middle finger.
Grasp the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers, and use a gentle shoeshine motion to guide it between teeth. The active part should be no longer than 1.5 – 2 cm and well stretched for better control.
When the floss reaches the gum line, form a C shape to follow the contours of the tooth.
Hold the floss firmly against the tooth, and move the floss gently up and down. Be careful not to floss so hard that you cut the gum line.
Repeat the entire process with the rest of your teeth, unwrapping a fresh piece of floss as you go along.