How to Floss Your Teeth Properly?

Wednesday 11 December 2013

How to Floss Your Teeth Properly?

As my head is spinning with all the Christmassy stuff and I am really struggling to cook up any great ideas for a post, I decided to talk about my favourite tooth floss and my oral hygiene experience from the past.

Dental hygiene in the old Soviet Union days

Dental care routine - smile
Some of you may already know that I am from Lithuania. I was born in the soviet era and I am a third and last child in our family, which means that my parents are quite old now. I don't know what it is but there is something wrong with the oral hygiene of those people who were born and/or raised in the soviet times. There is an incredible lack of knowledge about simple things that seem to be obvious to everyone else these days. When I was a kid, nobody taught me to brush my teeth. Toothbrushes were not used that often by anyone in our family and, believe me, my family was not that unique.

I was told that an apple would clean my teeth or using baking soda to rinse my mouth once in a while would kill all the gems. Nobody ever enforced any rules onto me, so I lived happily eating lots of sweets and… going to the dentist VERY often: with swollen cheeks, root canals needing treatment and so on. In the old days there were no anaesthetics and there were always VERY long queues to see a dentist. No wonder! While waiting at the reception you could always hear somebody screaming from pain of having their teeth drilled, and every time you heard a drill shivers would start going right through your body. Brrr… By the time you reached the dentist chair your clothes would be drenched with cold sweat from fear.

Once at the dentist, the dentist will fix all the holes, but everyone seemed to keep tight lips regarding any advice. I cannot remember a single practitioner ever giving me advice regarding dental care or oral hygiene. Given that I was a kid I think I would have benefited from a bit of bollocking.

Well, now this is the history which left me with a lot of fillings. Thank god, I was gifted with a set of teeth that are fairly well shaped, so I still have a reasonably looking smile.

In the old days it was an unheard thing that I would go to the dentist and have nothing done to my mouth. I always needed at least a few fillings. Now I still struggle to trust my dentist if he says that I don't need any work done and my teeth are fine. He says: "See you in six months" and I say: "Are you sure? Seriously? You're sure you checked my mouth properly?". Once I even went to another dentist just to check that the first one had done a good job at checking up my teeth.

What is my current dental routine?

I still eat lots of sweets, but I do try to brush my teeth as often as I can. Also, I am obsessed with flossing my teeth. I floss them after every meal if I have a chance. Sometimes I go to the toilet and floss my teeth there if I am in a place other than my own home. A mouthwash is a must in my teeth care routine, at least twice a day.

I haven't changed my eating habits, but thorough and diligent tooth care seems to be making a huge difference.

How to floss properly?

Colgate interdental tooth floss
Colgate Interdental tooth floss
Take a generous amount of tooth floss, wrap it around your index fingers, hold it tight between your thumbs and index fingers, move the floss up and down, gliding along the side of each tooth, curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you did beneath the gum line. Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth. Continue flossing until you have cleaned between all of your teeth. Rinse with mouth wash. This advice comes from Colgate website.

For those little concave areas that are hard to reach with a tooth floss you could supplement your oral hygiene with Waterpik, which is a home device that uses stream of water to remove plaque and food debris from between your teeth and gum line.

Best dental floss

An unwaxed woven dental floss removes plaque best, but it can only be used between teeth that have lose to normal contact.

How to floss properly
Colgate Interdental tooth floss
Tight contact area between teeth requires a different kind of floss as an unwaxed floss would get stuck between teeth, tear or fray. All my teeth are very tight, therefore, an unwaxed dental floss is not an option for me. I use Colgate Interdental floss. In my opinion, it is the best tooth floss on the market for my type of teeth. I have tried most of the tooth floss in Boots and major supermarkets; Colgate Interdental floss seems to be the best for me by a big margin.

Some marketeers try to push the idea that Waterpik is the best way to floss your teeth, but the reality is that you will not be able to remove that heavily stuck meat in between your tight teeth with Waterpik. Also, if you use the highest setting you risk pushing the bacteria deeper into the gum line instead of out of the gum line. Waterpik can be a good complimentary product to your oral hygiene, but not a replacement for an ordinary tooth floss.

Final word

What is your oral hygiene? Do you floss? What oral hygiene products do you like or use?


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