Mission Imflossable – My resolution for the New Year

If you have regular bleeding gums, receive complaints about your breath, or wonder why you brush everyday but still get decay between your teeth, then this might be the New Year’s resolution for you. Flossing everyday is a very easy resolution to carry out and keep. Just 2 minutes every night before bed can lead to a variety of great benefits, such as fresher breath, less decay and healthier gums.

Flossing

Flossing

Why floss?

Flossing gets rid or residue food and plaque that gets trapped between teeth after we eat everyday. Most of this residue is not able to be cleaned by our toothbrushes, which can’t reach between our teeth. This food builds up and attracts bacteria which can cause bleeding gums when they are inflamed, tooth decay and smelly breath.

How much time to do I need to spend flossing?

Flossing doesn’t have to take long. It usually takes 2-3 minutes, once a night just before you brush your teeth. It may be a bit fiddly and awkward the first few times that you learn how to floss, but after a few practices in front of the mirror, you will be a professional and it will not be so hard to get into all the tough areas between your teeth. It takes about 4-5 weeks to develop the habit and then after night flossing for that time, it will become second nature and will no longer be a chore as it becomes part of your brushing routine. That means, 35 flosses for it to become easy, so start flossing today!

I’m not sure if I’m doing it right?

There are a few different ways to floss your teeth and different method suit different people. The most important thing is to floss between all your teeth and make sure you clean both front and back walls of each gap. Here are two methods to try out to see which suits you:

Dr. Bill Morris’ flossing method

Bill ties the floss in a ring and holds the floss between his fingers. This makes it easier to hold the floss.

  1. with one hand inside the mouth and one outside the mouth, gently see-saw the floss through the gap between your teeth and floss one side of the gap up and down.
  2. pull the floss to the other side of the gap and floss up and down
  3. repeat for all teeth.

Dr Will Wang’s flossing method

This method is a bit more complicated and provides more control over the floss between the teeth.

  1. break off a generous sized piece of floss (about forearm length)
  2. wrap the floss around your middle fingers until you have about 8 cms between them
  3. pull tight and use your thumbs and pointer fingers like pincers to support the floss, keep your thumbs and middle fingers as close as possible so you have more control (about 3 cm is a good length)
  4. using a finger on one hand inside the mouth, and one hand on the outside of the mouth, gently see-saw the floss through the gap between your teeth and floss one side of the gap up and down.
  5. pull the floss to the other side of the gap and floss up and down
  6. repeat for all teeth.

Flossing doesn’t have to be hard or annoying, it takes a few times just to get the technique correct and to build it into your nightly routine and you will be well on the way to healthier gums and a beautiful looking smile! If you have any questions, you can discuss them with your dentist at your next 6-monthly checkup. You can make your appointment at Highgate Hill Dental Centre today, please call (07) 3844 6071 or contact us. We look forward to seeing how good your teeth and gums will look as a result of your New Years’ resolution! Start today 🙂