This is a guest post by Christian Mills, a family man and freelance writer who strongly promotes living a healthy lifestyle.
Despite being as hard as diamonds, your teeth can go through a lot of wear and tear over their lifetime, and this will inevitably lead to some kind of damage at some point or another. Keeping your teeth clean is the most fundamental part of keeping them in shape.
While brushing certainly cleans the bulk of the grime that can accumulate over time, however, it’s only good for so much, and your toothbrush will not reach many parts of your teeth. As such, flossing is an important part of your daily oral hygiene routines.
Flossing helps remove trapped food and plaque that can get stuck in between the teeth and gums, areas where brushing just isn’t good enough. However, there is a lot more to it than simply tweaking dental floss between your teeth each day.
1. Flossing Should be Done At Least Once a Day.
Ideally you should floss after every meal so that trapped food can quickly be removed before they started to damage your teeth, however, that isn’t always practical.
If you’re sharing a meal with work colleagues, for example, you may not be able to find the opportunity to slip away to clean your teeth. Many people, therefore, choose to floss at least once or twice a day, typically either when they wake up in the morning or before they go to bed.
However, what’s not always realized is that it doesn’t really matter when you floss your teeth. While immediately after eating is ideal, you can floss once a day and still maintain effective oral hygiene. As long as you actually floss!
2. Flossing Should Not Be Painful.
If you find flossing painful at all, then you’re probably doing it incorrectly.
While it may definitely feel odd, or even a little uncomfortable, when you first start, after a few weeks of routine flossing that sensation should end. If it actually hurts, consider adjusting your flossing technique until it’s more comfortable. If necessary, try practicing the motions slowly before actually cleaning your teeth so you can find a flossing technique that works for you.
Also, at your next dental appointment mention to your dentist your difficulty with flossing. Most dentist, like Dr. Johnson at Premier Smile, should be able to teach you a flossing technique that works best for you.
3. You Can Floss Too Hard and Too Much.
You should try to make sure you do actually clean between your teeth when flossing, and that you do it regularly enough that there’s no prolonged build up. However, flossing too hard, or too frequently, can actually damage your teeth as well by wearing down the tooth enamel or damaging your gums. Damage to the gums especially can be problematic, as it creates open wounds that the bacteria in your mouth and food can infect.
Repeating what’s been said above, never floss to a degree that is painful. Always try to be firm enough that you’re actually cleaning your teeth, yet gentle enough that no damage is caused.
4. Flossing Can Be Done Anywhere.
Do not assume you can only floss in a bathroom. With some resourcefulness and creativity, you can find a space to floss just about anywhere.
Place a floss dispenser in the glove compartment of your car, your handbag or wallet, or a drawer in your desk at work so that you always have an opportunity to clean your teeth out. Naturally, try to do this in private. No one wants to see you extract your lunch from between your teeth, thank you very much.
5. Floss Before You Brush Your Teeth.
It’s thought that flossing before you brush your teeth can help fluoride get between your teeth and more efficiently strengthen the tooth enamel. Certainly cleaning out between your teeth can help clear out food fragments that may inhibit the effectiveness of your toothpaste while also prepping your mouth. As such, if you feel that your usual brushing technique isn’t working as it should be, consider flossing beforehand to give it a little extra help.
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
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