Resolving to Floss Each Day?

Jan. 4, 2002
Learn How Academy of General Dentistry Offers Answers, Tips for Dental Health Resolutions

Resolving to Floss Each Day?

Learn How Academy of General Dentistry Offers Answers, Tips for Dental Health Resolutions

CHICAGO (January 1, 2002) - The Academy of General Dentistry reminds consumers that there are a variety of oral health care resolutions and suggests that consumers select one that is realistic for their lifestyle. The following tips and resources will give consumers the confidence to continually improve their dental health throughout the upcoming year.

I Resolve To� Tips to Help Meet Oral Health Resolutions


* Spool Method - For those with manual dexterity. Take an 18-inch piece of floss and wind the bulk of the floss lightly around the middle finger.

1. Wind the rest of the floss similarly around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger takes up the floss as it becomes soiled or frayed.

2. Maneuver the floss between teeth with your index fingers and thumbs. Don't pull it down hard against your gums or you will hurt them. Don't rub it side to side as if you're shining shoes.

3. Bring the floss up and down several times forming a "C" shape around the tooth being sure to go below the gum line.

* Loop Method - Suited for children or adults with less nimble hands, poor muscular coordination or arthritis.

1. Take an 18-inch piece of floss and make it into a circle.

2. Tie it securely with three knots.

3. Place all of the fingers, except the thumb, within the loop. Use your index fingers to guide the floss through the lower teeth, and use your thumbs to guide the floss through the upper teeth, going below the gumline forming a "C" on the side of the tooth.

Brush more often

* One effective, easy-to-remember technique involves using a circular or elliptical motion to brush a couple of teeth at a time, gradually covering the entire mouth.

* Place a toothbrush beside your teeth at a 45-degree angle and gently brush teeth in an elliptical motion. Brush the outside of the teeth, inside the teeth, your tongue and the chewing surfaces and in between teeth. Using a back and forth motion causes the gum surface to recede, or can expose the root surface or make the root surface tender. You also risk wearing down the gum line.

Brush at the office

* Leaving an extra toothbrush at the office, rather than carrying one with you, may increase your likelihood of brushing at work by 65 percent.

* Post a sticky note on your desk or computer at work as a reminder to brush your teeth after lunch.

* Brush your teeth right after lunch, before you become absorbed in work or meetings for the remainder of the afternoon.

* Store your toothbrush and toothpaste at work in a convenient and handy place.

* Make brushing your teeth part of your routine of freshening up at work