Do you brush and floss routinely and still get cavities?
Anyone who is conscientious about oral hygiene should be congratulated. But if you aren’t flossing correctly, you’re not going to get the results you want – a completely clean, healthy smile.
Why You Need to Floss
Have you ever run your tongue along your teeth at the end of the day and noticed a fuzzy feeling? What you’re feeling is a film of bacteria-filled plaque that builds up on your teeth throughout the day. Brushing twice a day removes plaque from the surface of your teeth, but you need floss to remove plaque that builds up between teeth where your brush can’t reach.
The Right Way to Floss
Whether you think you are a pro or your technique has gotten a little rusty, a refresher on proper flossing is always helpful! It’s easy to get a little lazy with your habits, so check to see if you're making any of these common mistakes:
Not Flossing Both Sides of a Tooth
Remember you’re cleaning two teeth at a time; when you get the floss up in between your teeth, make sure you clean the first tooth, then move the floss to the other tooth and clean it.
Forcing the Floss Between Teeth
Sometimes dental work or tooth crowding prevent the floss from moving smoothly up between your teeth. You may be tempted to pull on the floss to force it between the teeth, but you run the risk of having the floss snap against your gums. This motion can cut or damage the gums and give bacteria a place to enter and possibly lead to infection.
Instead, protect your gums by using a gentle sawing motion until the floss slides gently past the tight spot.
Not Using New Floss
Don’t try to conserve floss by reusing the same length over and over. Floss works by scraping away plaque and catching it. Using the same length of floss for the next tooth means you are spreading plaque you’ve already moved to a new area of your mouth.
Please Call our Lexington Office to Arrange an Appointment
Dr. Chris Davis is a dentist in Lexington who makes it a priority to educate our patients about the best ways to manage their oral health. If you would like to learn how we can help, please call to arrange an appointment today!