Do you struggle with using traditional dental floss? If you do, you’re not alone. Many people fumble with the string until they get so frustrated, that they throw it out and decide flossing isn’t for them.
Dr. Babak Behbahani of Central Valley Dentistry in Phoenix, AZ understands your flossing frustrations. As your dentist, we’re here to help you. There are some easy tips that may make it easier for you to maneuver your floss. Additionally, there are other products available like floss threaders and water flossers to make the job easier.
Traditional Flossing String
When using traditional flossing string, you’ll want to observe the following steps:
- Unravel and snap off a strand of about 18 inches.
- Using your middle fingers, wind up the string on each end until there are about five inches left.
- Pinch the floss on each end with your thumb and pointer finger.
- Using a back and forth motion, gently glide the floss between each tooth. Be careful not to snap the floss in, because it can cut your gums and make them bleed.
- At the gum line, hug the side of each tooth by curving the string into a C shape. Gently slide the floss around to remove the plaque.
- As plaque fills the floss, unravel a clean section between your fingers.
If you have dental work that connects your teeth together, then you won’t be able to floss the regular way. For bridges, braces, lingual wires, or a retainer bar you’ll need to use a floss threader to get underneath the connecting part and clean along the gum line.
A floss threader is a nylon loop that comes to a point. The tip is rigid enough to be pushed between certain areas, yet flexible enough to maneuver through curves.
To use this tool, thread your floss through the loop then take the point of the threader and push it between your teeth at the gumline. Keep pushing until the floss comes through the opposite side, at which point you can release the threader and use the floss as you normally would. To remove the floss, all you have to do is pull it out.
Using A Water Flosser
A water flosser such as a WaterPik is a handheld device that looks similar to an electric toothbrush. When you aim the nozzle between your teeth and press the button, a stream of pressurized water is released, flushing all the bad stuff away.
Water flossers are a great tool that makes cleaning your teeth easy and fun. This is an ideal tool for people that struggle with dexterity problems and for those who have braces. With their ease of use, water flossers are more effective at cleaning in-between areas and under your gums than traditional floss.
See Our Phoenix Dentist
Not sure which flossing method is best for you? We can help! Visit the friendly staff of Central Valley Dentistry today. We’ll give you professional flossing recommendations and discuss other great oral care tips you can bring hoe with you.