Would you consider yourself an absolute pro when it comes to brushing your teeth? I assume the average person does; brushing their teeth first thing in the morning and right before bed religiously and thinking that’s the job done! But do you floss?
‘But isn’t flossing just an optional extra?’ I hear you cry. This is what I once thought too! Whilst just brushing your teeth removes the majority of food and plaque (accumulations of bacteria), with most people this isn’t enough to get the job completely done. You may be thinking: why should I care about the little bit that is left? It may be little but it has the ability to result in the need for a filling and irritate the gums potentially causing gum disease. Yikes, I know…
Adding an extra task to your day isn’t always ideal or practical, especially when you’re rushing in the morning or tired at night. So with that in mind, here are some of the key things to help bring flossing into your daily routine:
Protecting Your Teeth from Overnight Plaque Buildup
Flossing at night is the ideal time to floss as leaving plaque on your teeth overnight increases the risk of the plaque harming your teeth. This is due to it not being removed by your saliva flow cleansing the mouth while you sleep. So, getting as much as possible out before this means in the morning you are just brushing to freshen up.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Flossing with Tape
The best way to learn to floss properly is to just give it a go - even watch a YouTube video in you’re unsure! But to help you get started here is a brief tutorial of flossing with tape: first, work with around 25cm of floss and wind round either the first or middle finger leaving a working length between the two of 2-3cm. Using your finger and thumb to control the floss lower gently between the teeth in a see-saw motion, pull against one side of the tooth in a C shape and move up in a sweeping motion and work round the mouth.
Customise Your Flossing Technique
Flossing is not a one size fits all so make your flossing technique unique to your teeth. Larger spaces between teeth may require interdental brushes whilst smaller spaces may need different methods. If flossing with tape is proving tricky, there are water flossers and floss sticks. The options may seem endless but if you don’t know where to start definitely ask your dentist or hygienist on advice on where to start.