While you are considering all of the newest lotions and potions available on the market to whiten your teeth, keep in mind that regular old-fashioned dental care that involves brushing and flossing is always your first line of defence against stained teeth.
If you aren’t applying these basic standards, no amount of tooth whitening will be effective for very long. It’s important to know how to properly floss your teeth in order to keep them for a lifetime and to keep them pearly white.
Flossing isn’t just about keeping teeth looking clean, it helps beat decay.
It’s easy to avoid flossing. Most people have actually become professional flossing avoiders. While it only takes an extra minute of your time after brushing to floss your teeth, it’s amazing to see how many people just don’t do it – even when they know how important it is.
Flossing has to become a regular habit, and the first step that you should take to make this happen is to have floss available. Keep it right beside your toothpaste so that you can easily reach for it after you have brushed. When it’s in clear view, it’s harder to avoid.
Plaque and Tartar
It’s important to floss to remove tartar and plaque and to keep it from building up in your mouth. Both plaque and tartar are damaging to your teeth and can lead to both gum and teeth problems in a relatively short amount of time. Brushing only takes care of part of the problem. Your toothbrush simply can’t reach into the spaces between the teeth to remove the particles that are residing there. You’ll need to reach for your floss to get these particles out of harm’s way.
Not only will the health of your teeth and gums thank you for flossing but you’ll also see visible results. Food stuck between the teeth is not aesthetically pleasing, to say the least, and you can be sure that people are noticing it when they see you smile. You can test this out for yourself. If you aren’t used to flossing give yourself a good smile in the mirror before and then another smile after the flossing has been completed. You’re sure to see a difference.
Don’t be worried if you do see some blood when you first start flossing. This is actually a good thing. It means that you are toughening up your gums after allowing them to become too soft. You’ll notice that your gums won’t bleed once they are used to the floss. You’ll have stronger gums, healthier teeth and a better smile when you use this thin string, which has the ability to provide all of these wonderful benefits.
How to Floss Effectively
Flossing is easy!
Simply grab your floss, (which you have conveniently put beside your toothpaste), and pull out approximately an arm’s length of it.
You can choose either unwaxed or waxed based on your own personal preference. Wrap the floss around your middle and index fingers leaving about 2 inches free on both sides. Follow your teeth’s curves as you run the floss up and down and back and forth in a gentle manner. Clean down deep into the gum line and then move on to the next gap.
Always use gentle motions to avoid snapping or forcing the floss.
To make flossing even easier, there are floss picks, floss sticks, and even water flossers to work with – take your pick – pun intended.
How Often Should You Floss?
For optimum results you should floss after every meal. For most people this is overkill and not practical. If flossing after each meal doesn’t work for you, make sure that you commit to flossing at least once a day. It’s best to do it at night so that your teeth are clean while you’re sleeping. It also may be easier to adapt a daily night-time habit when you’re away from work and in the comfort of your own home.
Once per day is definitely the minimum amount that you should be shooting for when you are setting up a routine.
You may also want to carry some floss with you in your glove compartment or in your purse for a “flossing emergency”. If you go out to dinner and some food gets stuck between your teeth, this extra floss that you have with you may just save the day and help you avoid an embarrassing situation.