Daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing are three of the most important steps to having healthy teeth and gums. However, older adults may have trouble wrapping floss around their fingers or keeping a steady hand. There are a few tricks that can help make flossing easier or help clean your gums in other ways. Continue reading to learn more about some alternative gum care when flossing is a challenge.
Clean Under Gums with Floss Picks
Plaque and food work their way under the gums every day and lead to gum disease. Thankfully, flossing goes under your gums, where your toothbrush can not reach. Therefore, it is important to brush twice a day and floss once before bed every day. However, when flossing is a challenge, older adults or caretakers can use floss picks to clean under gums in between the teeth.
With a floss pick, there is no need to wrap a long piece of floss around your finger. You simply hold a handle with a short string of floss attached to it. Some floss picks have a short handle while others come with a long, toothbrush-like handle. The floss picks with longer handles are more comfortable to hold. Regardless, ensure that you dispose of the floss after each use.
Flush the Gums Using Water Flosser
What’s more, a water flosser may also serve as an easier alternative to floss. A water flosser is a small, countertop unit with a small water tank, which cleans by flushing the gums out with water. The water flosser features a cord that water travels through and a handle with a stem that the water sprays out of. It can be purchased at the drug store and. To use the water flosser, follow the steps below:
Fill the tank with water.
Add a tablespoon of an antiseptic mouth rinse to help kill bacteria.
Hold the handle of the device so that the tip of the stem is angled toward the gums in between two teeth. This will allow the water to pulse a direct stream under your gums.
Move the handle around to each section of gum tissue to allow the water to run out of your mouth.
The above procedure should not be done with patients who are lying down or cannot stand over a sink. Moreover, the water flosser should be used in addition to flossing and not to replace it altogether.
Go For Routine Checkups and Professional Dental Cleanings
Lastly, always see your dentist on a regular basis for cleanings. Try as much as possible to keep your teeth and gums healthy in between dental visits. Nonetheless, trust that the dentist will check your teeth and gums and clean them much more thoroughly at their office. Be sure to follow their recall schedule for your appointments, which may be once every three, four, or six months. Also, be sure to ask your dentist any questions you may have, including how you are doing with taking care of your teeth at home and how you can improve on your dental hygiene.