It's no secret that flossing is essential for good dental health. But what do you do when you can't get the floss between two teeth that are abnormally close together? You don't want to just force the floss down there, since it could get stuck and fray, warranting a last-minute visit to the dentist to get it removed. You don't really want to skip flossing those teeth, either, since that could lead to decay and cavities. Here are a few steps you should take.
Try thin, waxed floss.
If you're not already using floss that's waxed and labeled "extra thin", do so. Regular floss may just be too thick for you. Not all drugstores carry extra-thin floss, so you might have to visit a few before you find it. If you really have trouble, try ordering it online from a marketplace like Amazon.
If even the thin floss won't go between your teeth comfortably, the problem may be with the angle at which you're holding the floss. Try using a dental flosser instead of regular floss. Flossers are little plastic devices shaped like a two-prong fork with a piece of floss threaded between the prongs. Don't force the flosser between your teeth – it could fray and get stuck just like normal floss. Many people who struggle with regular floss have an easier time with flossers simply because it's easier to position them and apply force in the right direction.
Invest in a Waterpik.
If even flossers don't work, your next step should be buying a tool called a Waterpik. This is a device that shoots a strong stream of water at the area between your teeth. It may not be quite as effective as flossing, but when you can't floss, it's the next best thing. Use it every day after brushing your teeth. You should still floss the teeth you can get between either before or after using your Waterpik.
Keep up with regular dentist appointments.
When you have a tough time flossing, it's even more important to stick with your regular dental checkups. Not being able to floss between your teeth increases your risk of cavities, so you want to ensure that if you do develop one, your dentist finds it when it's still small and easy to treat.
Talk to your dentist about your difficulties with flossing at your next appointment. He or she may have some additional suggestions for flossing effectively between close-together teeth. For more information, visit websites like http://www.nwidentist.com/.