So you care enough about your oral health to read up on your flossing and for that you ARE NOT a dummie. GO YOU!
Flossing is a sensitive subject for a lot of people, both figuratively and literally, but this does not have to be the case. Gums aren’t as wimpy and we might think! They aren’t naturally tender and bleeding isn’t a normal “gum thing”. Flossing plays a huge part in gum health and we’ve got some quick tips and tricks to get your gums in tip top shape!
The way we hold floss is crazy important. A lot of my patients don’t floss simply because its difficult for them to control the floss and reach certain teeth. Wrapping the floss around and controlling with the pointer finger is a common mistake made. The best way to hold your floss is to wrap the majority around your right middle finger the remaining floss around your left middle finger. This leaves the thumbs and index fingers free to control the floss. Wrap the dirty floss around the left middle finger and unravel clean floss when needed!
I have patients who floss regularly and don’t understand why they still have tender gums or heavy build up. Sometimes we have great intentions when flossing but aren’t always flossing the most efficient way. Simply going in between the teeth and pulling right out will ONLY clean the tiny surfaces of the teeth that are touching. If we think of the letter C we can clean much more! Go in between the teeth then wrap the floss around the curved sides of the tooth, like the letter C, making sure to take the floss under the pointed gum between the teeth. C-shape flossing is the best technique for those pearly whites!
Good News: you only have to floss once a day! We don’t have to floss every time we brush or even after every time we eat. The best time to floss is at night BEFORE we brush. This allows the debris to be loosened from between the teeth and then brushed away, plus the toothpaste can do it’s magical work on that freshly cleaned surface!
Don’t give up
It takes about 2-3 weeks to become a seasoned flosser! I compare it to your muscles being tender and sore after the first few weeks of starting a work out. Your gums aren’t used to that stimulation and the bacteria is has caused inflation and infection. Once you start flossing regularly the bleeding and tenderness will subside! WOO HOO keep up the good work!!!