Flossing your teeth is the second most important dental requirement but it is by far the most annoying. Even people who have become experts at the quick floss can admit that the standard methods of flossing are not ideal.
The whole process revolves around putting your fingers in your mouth and holding a string tightly that's simultaneously cutting off circulation to your fingertips and getting covered in saliva. Maybe we're doing it wrong but those who floss 'correctly' with no hassle are so few as to seem mythical.
In fact, many adults who stop flossing entirely if only to leave room for things like work or another five minutes of precious sleep (or just because it's really annoying).
That said, if you want healthy teeth and gums later in life, you've got to start with the oral care now. If you're one of the many thousands of adults who just doesn't floss, the good news is that it doesn't have to be as much of a hassle as you might think.
The time has come to take charge of the tiny spaces between your teeth and get the plaque before your dentist finds it hiding there during each annual cleaning.
Meet the Flosser
The flosser is an amazing, no-commitment, incredibly inexpensive flossing tool that completely changes the
game of flossing for kids and adults alike. A flosser is a shaped little piece of plastic with a very sturdy string in the middle.
They usually look like strung crescents connected to pointy sticks and come in huge bags of 25 to hundreds at a time. Here's the magical thing about flossers: no more fingers in your mouth, slippery floss, or throbbing fingertips.
Simply maneuver the flosser string between your teeth and gently go through all the right motions while holding onto the plastic stick. Then rinse the string every gap or two and one flosser can be used for both the upper and lower teeth before being thrown away.
Phasing Into Flossing
If you're not used to flossing or feel like you don't have the time to struggle with every little tooth gap, it's okay. Any flossing is better than none so you might as well start slow. Rather than getting frustrated learning to use the flosser, consider only doing one half of your teeth at a time.
Floss the lower teeth at bedtime, then the upper teeth when you brush before breakfast and so on. Eventually, you'll get the hang of it, get faster, and it will soon seem natural and efficient to floss altogether every time you brush.
Actually Flossing Your Teeth
Whether you've been going through the motions of pretty much never flossed before, the flossers give you the freedom to really work on your technique without worrying about the position of your fingers.
For each place that your teeth touch or almost touch, wiggle the flosser between your teeth and gently scrape the sides of each tooth all the way down to the gums.
If your teeth are very tight together, use as careful sawing motion to get the flosser string between them so as not to hurt your gums when the string makes it through.
Then dip the string of the flosser into the little divet in the gums to clear out any plaque or lodged bacteria . Rinse the flosser and repeat for every pair. Don't worry about a little bit of blood, your gums will get stronger if you keep flossing regularly.
Other Flossing Alternatives
Of course, flossers aren't your alternative to standard flossing, merely the cheapest and best way to learnwhatyour dentist has been talking about this whole time. Inter-dental toothbrushes are one step in investment but not everyone's teeth are suited to them.
Finally, there's the water pick which is essentially a toothcare appliances. Using highly pressurized water, the water pick can blast plaque out from between your teeth for a nearly hands-free flossing experience. That said, many people are perfectly content and maintain great dental health with a simple bag of flossers.
If you're like most people, you want your teeth to last you a very long time. After all, what's retirement about if not kicking back and eating the occasional delicious steak or ice cream whenever you feel like it?
If you want to be able to chew and withstand cold well into your old age, getting started flossing now is your best bet and so is going to see your dentist on a regular basis. If you're having issues with your teeth that flossing just can't fix, go see a professional.