A consistent oral care routine is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Not only does thoroughly cleaning your teeth help fight off obvious diseases like gingivitis and tooth decay, but proper oral care also helps stave off other serious illnesses like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease. With that in mind, it’s crazy to think how many basic oral care habits get skipped over by the general population. Flossing your teeth might seem like a menial task, but doing so can help you avoid dealing with serious and expensive medical conditions down the road. If you are wanting to begin flossing but aren’t sure how to approach it, here are a few helpful tips to get you started!

String Floss Alternatives

If you want to floss your teeth but really do not like using traditional stringed floss, that’s okay! There are many other methods you can use beyond string that are also effective. Water flossers, for instance, can also get hard to reach food stuck in between your teeth with the use of adjustable water pressure, or you can also try a sonic airfloss that uses a combination of water and air pressure. Interdental brushes are also a really good option for removing that hard to reach plaque.

Go Easy On Your Gums

When flossing, it is tempting to try and find the right angle to get between your teeth by popping or snapping your floss to your gums. You will find that this results in slightly reddened, swollen, and often bleeding gums. Flossing is supposed to help your gums, so damaging them in the process to protect them is working backwards. Don’t try and force the floss between your teeth. Instead, gently slide the floss between them. Holding your hands too far apart can make this more difficult, so try holding the floss with just a little bit of room and slowly let the floss find its way through your teeth. You don’t need to push the string against your gums, and you also don’t need to saw the string back and forth against them either. You might still have a little bleeding, but if your gums hurt and continue to hurt while flossing, consult a dentist to take a closer look either at your gums or at your flossing technique.

Be Thorough

While you definitely don’t want to be too hard on your gums, you don’t want to forget them either! Food and plaque can get stuck in places your toothbrush just simply can’t reach, so you don’t want to leave anything behind by not taking your time with your flossing! You want to gently slide your floss under your gum line on each side of each tooth. Taking your time on this helps ensuring you do hit every part, but it also helps with not being too forceful, harming your gums by working too quickly.

Flossing regularly and thoroughly is such an important part of your oral and general health. If you are having trouble with your technique or feel like something isn’t right, make an appointment with Larry Molenda, D.D.S. in San Marcos to go over what you need so that you can get on your way to proper oral care!