From crowded teeth to slipped string, flossing isn’t always the easiest task in the world. It’s why so many people end up leaving it out of their daily routines. We’ll look at three tips that can make the process easier, so you can have healthier teeth and gums.
1. Be Consistent, Not Perfect
Ideally, you should be using about 18″ of traditional string and using the C-shape method. However, if you find it easier to use the toothpick-like flossers, then you’re better off doing this than nothing at all. The goal is to get into the habit of flossing. If you find yourself getting bogged down by the rules or discouraged when you can’t get the perfect grasp, don’t give up on your hygiene entirely.
2. Be Gentle
The point of flossing is to relieve your teeth of pent-up particles, not to besiege your gums with gusto. You should be hugging the tooth and going just slightly below the gum line for best results. As an aside, this is why traditional floss held between the thumb and index finger is recommended. It gives you the leverage and flexibility you need to apply the right amount of pressure to the area. This would also be a good time to switch to a soft-bristle toothbrush to avoid abrasion to your gums.
3. See Your Dentist
Flossing and brushing is a great way to stave off future issues, but it can’t replace seeing your dentist every 6 months for regular cleaning. Some people will have crowded teeth that make it difficult, if not impossible to truly floss correctly. Talking to a dentist is a great way to find out whether your habits are paying off or if you need to make a few adjustments in the future. They can give you tips about how to really reach the back teeth or how far to sink the string into the actual gum line.
The first tip is really the most important. The more you focus on clean teeth — even if you’re by no means perfect at first — the more you’ll want to get better at it. Like anything, dental hygiene takes practice to get right.