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Flossing Made Easy - It Is Possible!

Most people consider flossing to be a chore: time-consuming, messy, frustrating, and boring. In fact, two out of three adults do not floss despite knowing its benefits. It's the best way to remove plaque between your teeth, and it's the only way to avoid gum disease. Flossing also helps damaged teeth and gums return to a healthy condition. And according to some reports, flossing can make you look and feel up to 6.4 years younger than your actual age!

If you don't floss, you are susceptible to gum disease, which can lead to irreversible damage, and can even cause you to lose your teeth. Think about it this way. Not flossing is like having a shower and not washing 30% of your body, or vacuuming your car and ignoring the crevices. The key is to make flossing easier ...then you'll do it more.

Flossing Tips

Make flossing more accessible. Keep rolls in places like your purse, your desk, TV room, and bedroom.  Floss while you're watching TV, working at your desk, reading, and so on.

If flossing after each meal is not realistic, floss before bed. When you sleep; plaque bacteria have more of a chance to develop.

Keep in mind that you don't have to spend tons of time flossing. A good flossing only takes two or three minutes.

Reward yourself. For example, set a goal to floss (perhaps only a few teeth to start with) every day for two weeks, then go indulge in that special something you've had your eye on. Then set a new goal!

Flossing Properly

Wind about 18 inches of floss around the middle fingers of each hand, leaving about five inches in between. Pinch the floss between your thumbs and index fingers and leave about one inch to work with. Gently guide the floss down between the teeth, pull it into a C shape around the sides of a tooth, and a slide it under the gum line. Clean the surface of the tooth by using an up-an-down motion. Repeat the process on all teeth. Wind the floss to a fresh section for each tooth. If you encounter flossing difficulties, let us know. We’re here to help. 

Should I Floss?

Plaque is a sticky layer of material containing bacteria that accumulates on teeth, including places where toothbrushes can't reach. This can lead to gum disease. The best way to get rid of plaque is to brush and floss your teeth carefully every day. A toothbrush cleans the tops and sides of your teeth. Dental floss cleans between them.

Why should I floss?

Floss removes plaque and debris that adhere to teeth and gums in between teeth, polishes tooth surfaces and controls bad breath. By flossing your teeth daily, you increase the chances of keeping your teeth a lifetime and decrease your chance of having periodontal (gum) disease and tooth decay.

Flossing is the single most important weapon against plaque, perhaps more important than the toothbrush. Many people just don't spend enough time flossing and many have never been taught to floss properly. When you visit your dentist or hygienist, ask to be shown.

Which type of floss should I use?

Dental floss comes in many forms: waxed and unwaxed, flavored and unflavored, wide and regular. Wide floss, or dental tape, may be helpful for people with a lot of bridge work. Tapes are usually recommended when the spaces between teeth are wide. Synthetic floss snaps between teeth easily, but can be slippery to handle.  They all clean and remove plaque about the same. Waxed floss might be easier to slide between tight teeth or tight restorations. However, the unwaxed floss makes a squeaking sound to let you know your teeth are clean. Bonded unwaxed floss does not fray as easily as regular unwaxed floss but does tear more than waxed floss.

How often should I floss?

At least once a day. To give your teeth a good flossing, spend at least two or three minutes.

What are floss holders?

You may prefer a prethreaded flosser or floss holder, which often looks like a little hacksaw. Flossers are handy for people with limited dexterity, for those who are just beginning to floss or for caretakers who are flossing someone else's teeth.

Is it safe to use toothpicks?

In a pinch, toothpicks are effective at removing food between teeth, but for daily cleaning of plaque between teeth, floss is recommended. When you use a toothpick, don't press too hard, as you can break off the end and lodge it in your gums.

Do I need a waterpick (irrigating device)?

Don't use waterpicks as a substitute for brushing and flossing. But they are effective around orthodontic braces, which retain food in areas where a toothbrush cannot reach. However, they do not remove plaque. Waterpicks may be recommended by dentists for persons with gum disease; solutions containing antibacterial agents, available through a dentist's prescription, can be added to the reservoir in these cases.

For more information regarding proper dental hygiene, or to book a consulation with a Winnipeg dentist, contact our Winnipeg Dental Clinic.


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Brushing teeth with greatness
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Flossing mistakes to avoid