Many Americans struggle with the daily chore of flossing their teeth. According to WebMD, “36% of Americans would rather do something unpleasant, like clean the toilet, than wedge waxed string between their teeth.” But flossing is a crucial component of a well-rounded dental hygiene regimen.
There are many different ways to incorporate flossing into your routine. Here’s our short guide on how to find the flossing flow that works for you.
Why Should I Floss?
Dentists are constantly reminding their patients to floss. The trouble is, many patients feel that brushing their teeth is adequate care and don’t realize that flossing offers undeniable health benefits that can’t be achieved through brushing alone. While brushing often leaves your teeth feeling cleaner and fresher than flossing, flossing removes hidden plaque and bacteria that causes health complications and bad breath.
Floss Removes Plaque from Between Teeth
No matter how well you brush your teeth, there are always some areas that a toothbrush just isn’t able to reach. Floss glides between teeth, removing built-up plaque and small food particles. If left untouched, plaque hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional.
Flossing Prevents Gum Disease
Gum disease is one of the most common complications that arises from poor dental hygiene. Gum disease, or gingivitis, is caused when gum tissues become inflamed due to bacterial buildup around the teeth and gumline. Gum disease causes redness, swelling, and bleeding in the gums. If left unchecked, gum disease might contribute to more complex medical conditions like heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes.
Flossing Prevents Tooth Loss
Additionally, patients dealing with severe gum disease may be at risk of receding gums or tooth loss over time. As gum disease worsens and gums recede, teeth are more exposed and less stable, and therefore more likely to fall out.
Flossing Mitigates Bad Breath
Let’s face it: everyone has bad breath once in a while. But for some, bad breath is a chronic condition that may take more concentrated care to alleviate. Flossing helps eliminate bad breath by removing bits of food and bacterial buildup from between teeth.
What Type of Floss Should I Use?
Use the type of floss that feels most comfortable, and encourages you to continue your flossing regimen. Above all, you want your floss to be easy to use and provide a thorough clean. There are several viable floss varieties or alternatives to consider, including:
- Waxed or unwaxed string floss.
- Flossing picks.
- Floss threaders.
- Water flossers.
- Tiny dental cleaning brushes.
No matter what kind of floss you choose, the most important thing is establishing a consistent routine.
When Should I Floss?
Most dentists recommend flossing at least once a day. The good news is that flossing only adds an extra 5 minutes to your oral care routine.
The time of day you floss doesn’t matter, as long as you remember. If you floss and brush at the same time, we recommend flossing before brushing. This will help you to follow-though with flossing, since you still need to brush your teeth afterwards.
How Do I Floss?
Flossing is simple, and relatively intuitive. Here’s how to floss with standard string floss:
- Break off a piece of floss about a foot or more long.
- Wrap the floss around your pointer finger, and secure it with your thumb.
- Guide the floss in between your teeth, using a gentle wiggling motion to get the floss into deep crevices.
- Curve floss along the sides of your teeth and gently scrape off accumulated plaque.
- Dispose of floss when finished.
Taking Good Care of Your Smile
At Treasured Smiles Adult and Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re dedicated to taking the best care of your smile. We offer a wide range of dental treatments from routine cleanings, cosmetic alterations, and restorative treatments. Our state-of-the-art offices are made with your comfort in mind. We strive to maintain a professional, informative, and relaxed environment, combining comfortable interiors and the high-quality equipment. Our main goal is to help our patients feel their best by addressing underlying concerns and enhancing their smile. Interested in scheduling your first appointment? Contact our team today to get started and experience the Treasured Smiles Adult and Cosmetic difference.