Everyone knows that brushing their teeth is very important to oral health. All who are focused on maintaining clean teeth realize this, but many people do not realize how vital flossing is when it comes to avoiding tooth decay. Good brushing practices do not always clean all of the tooth particles from between the teeth, especially following eating specific types of foods. The problem is that many people are never really taught the correct method of flossing, and there is a definite technique for ensuring all food particles are gone when finished. Here are a few tips from your dentist in Northbrook regarding effective flossing.
Proper Amount of Floss
One problem people have is how much floss to use. The best length of string is approximately 18 inches with each end wrapped around the second finger. This leaves the index finger to control the sliding movement between the teeth. There should be about two to three inches of string in between the index fingers to work with moving back and forth between each tooth. Back teeth can be difficult to clean between, and sometimes you may need more slack to work with. Your Northbrook dentist also advises to keep the string tight between the teeth being cleaned at all times.
It is also important to move gently between the teeth. Slow cleaning can allow for a better grip on food particles, especially smaller ones, and be sure to move around the curve on the side and back teeth. Food particles can hide in hard to get places, and slow cleaning around curves can help. And always make sure to clean up into the gum gently, but try discreetly to avoid causing bleeding.
Use Clean Sections
It is not a good decision to continue using the same piece of floss while cleaning. Each tooth should require a new piece of string, and the area used for sliding back and forth between the teeth should be fresh. This makes for better gripping while flossing. Pay particularly close attention to back teeth, and do not skip sections just because they are difficult. This can result in cavities developing in short order.
Always make sure to rinse your mouth out after flossing to ensure all clinging particles are removed cleanly. Water works well, but mouthwash may be the best option for final flushing of the mouth. Contact Northbrook Dental Office for further information if you have any questions.