Good dental hygiene is a team effort. Your dentist and dental hygienist are important members of that team, with the education, professional training, and experience to keep your teeth and mouth in tip-top shape, but there’s one person on the team that’s even more important, and that has an even greater ability to keep everything sparkling, fresh, and healthy than all of the dental professionals in the world combined.
Surprise: it’s you!
Chances are you can’t get out to your Cochrane dentist’s office every day for a thorough cleaning. And even though such careful attention to your teeth would be great in some ways, with proper at-home care it really isn’t necessary. You can get away without seeing your dentist daily as long as you’re following proper at-home procedures—and to make sure you know what those procedures are, here are some daily flossing tips, straight from the Canadian Dental Association to you.
Flossing Clears Plaque So Your Dentist Won’t Need To
Your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria, which is perfectly normal and healthy. When bacteria congregate on your teeth, though, they form a film called plaque, and this plaque is the leading cause of gum disease. 24-36 hours after plaque forms it hardens into a substance called calculus, which can only be effectively removed with a professional cleaning.
Brushing is great at removing some plaque, but more than a third of your teeth’s surface can’t be reached by a toothbrush. That’s where flossing comes in! Flossing gets between your teeth to all of those unbrushable spots, removing plaque before it can harden to keep your teeth and gums healthy without the need for constant professional cleanings by your dentist.
Flossing is as Easy as 1 – 2 – 3!
Flossing is simple, but there’s a right way to do it to make sure you’re getting your teeth as clean as possible after meals and between dentist visits. Here’s how:
- Get a piece of floss about as long as one arm, and wrap it around the middle or index fingers of each hand, leaving two inches of floss between your fingers.
- Slide the floss gently underneath the gumline between two teeth (and at the back of your last molars) and wrap the floss in a “C” shape around the tooth, then swipe up from the base to the tip a few times.
- Repeat with each tooth, moving to a fresh spot of floss as it wears and picks up plaque and particles from between your teeth.
It’s that simple! Floss before you brush for the best results, and remember to do it at least once a day to prevent plaque from hardening and becoming impossible to remove at home.
Don’t Forget a Regular Professional Cleaning from Your Cochrane Dentist
Even those who practice the best flossing and brushing techniques should see a dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and a professional cleaning, and some conditions might require more frequent visits. The better you take care of your teeth at home the easier those cleanings and checkups will be, so don’t delay—make an appointment today!