Ask any kid what are his top two fears and he will say going to a dentist and flossing. Ask any adult and he will most likely say the same thing. Although dentists no longer use painful methods to treat your teeth problem, they are invariably linked with pain. And nobody likes to floss.
But since childhood, many kids are forced to floss right in front of the parents. Even some grown-ups detest the activity. Though there is little evidence that flossing works, dentists and people with white coats on TV tell us it is important.
So how does one floss to make it an easy and quick experience?
Traditionally, people use an 18 inch long nylon string to floss. Tie most of the string around your fingers keeping a 5-6-inch length between thumb and index finger. Slide it gently up and down and between your teeth.
Do this to all your teeth and use gentle pressure. If you are not used to flossing, it is normal to see some blood from gums when you start. If this happens, gargle with some salt water and continue flossing, but reduce pressure. Over time, the gums will stop bleeding. As you move from one tooth to another, use a new section of the floss. Gargle often to get rid of plaque and loose food particles.
There are different types of floss available in the market. Avoid the flavoured ones since almost all flavours are made of artificial chemicals.
Flossing before sleeping in the night is a good idea since it takes off all food particles from your teeth before you sleep. This way, bacteria won’t have a chance to grow at night.
Is there a better way?
If flossing with a thread is too slow and boring for you, choose a floss stick. It is more versatile and stronger and easy to use. In addition, you won’t need two hands to use it. Most adults find a floss stick to be a lot easier to use than the string. Some brands make reusable ones that can be washed under hot water and reused multiple times. Plus, these floss sticks are a lot easier to work with than a traditional toothpick or a string.
Try both options and see which one works best for you. As long as you use one of them, it will save you from a dental appointment.