Let’s face it, many of us forget to floss. Is flossing really important? And if it is, what is the correct way to floss?
According to dentists, the importance of flossing cannot be overstated. Otherwise, why would they constantly remind us during every routine visit?
Flossing helps break plaque buildup, especially in areas your toothbrush cannot reach. Plaque that stays in your teeth hardens into tartar, increasing your risk of infections and diseases which includes gum problems and cavities.
If you wish to protect your pearly whites and achieve a confident smile, make it a habit to floss today! Continue reading for our top flossing tips to help you maintain a healthy mouth.
Sure, adopting a new habit is difficult. How many times have we made promises to ourselves to start something fresh on a Monday, only to see those efforts fail? However, when it comes to flossing, you’re more likely to succeed.
Flossing requires only two minutes of your time. Simply place your floss right beside your toothbrush, and the next time you brush your teeth, invest two minutes in flossing. It’s that easy.
By establishing flossing as a non-negotiable daily routine, you’ll not only strengthen your commitment to this habit but also fortify your teeth and maintain healthy gums. Allocating just an additional two minutes each day can significantly enhance your oral hygiene. The key to success lies in consistency.
Which type of floss do you prefer: plain, flavored, waxed, unwaxed, tape, or charcoal? Regardless of your choice, the most important thing is to ensure that the floss carries the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Acceptance, which guarantees its quality and effectiveness.
Typically, a standard floss has of a thin nylon strand that you maneuver between each tooth. If you have no issues flossing, an unwaxed floss should suffice. However, if your teeth are closely spaced, using a waxed floss can facilitate smoother gliding through the gaps, minimizing any potential snagging.
For those seeking a bit of novelty or if you have a picky child, flavored floss or whitening charcoal floss could be a nice option. On the other hand, if you have crowded teeth and struggle with floss getting stuck, dental tape is a great alternative. Dental tape is remarkably thin and can easily navigate even the tightest gaps.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends flossing once daily for optimal gum health. The good news is that you have the flexibility to choose when to incorporate flossing into your routine.
Should you floss before or after brushing? Flossing before brushing allows you to remove food particles and plaque, creating a cleaner surface for your fluoride toothpaste to act on. On the other hand, flossing after brushing enables you to help distribute fluoride evenly between your freshly cleaned teeth.
According to the ADA, the order in which you floss and brush doesn’t really matter as long as both activities are part of your daily oral care routine. As long as you consistently engage in both brushing and flossing, the order is up to you.
To begin, cut a length of floss measuring approximately 18 inches. Wrap the ends around the first two fingers of each hand, leaving only 1 to 2 inches of taut floss to work with.
Afterwards, place the dental floss between your posterior teeth, tackling one side at a time. Delicately glide the floss upwards and downwards alongside each tooth’s surface. Once the floss reaches the gumline, shape it into a gentle ‘C’ curve, enabling it to effortlessly slide between the gum and the tooth.
Repeat these steps for every tooth, ensuring that you use a fresh section of floss for each tooth. This practice promotes good oral hygiene and prevents the transfer of bacteria between teeth.
The spaces between our molars provide an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. To achieve optimal results, we recommend that you start flossing at the back teeth and work your way around, ensuring that the entire mouth receives a thorough cleaning.
If you find it challenging to floss using conventional methods, consider using a disposable floss pick specifically designed for those difficult-to-reach molars. This can help in effectively cleaning those areas and maintaining overall oral health.
If you find traditional flossing challenging, consider investing in a water flosser. While water flossers may require some maintenance, they serve as an excellent alternative for those who do not like conventional flossing methods. Water flossers function by directing thin streams of water between the teeth.
While flossing is an excellent step towards maintaining oral health, it’s equally important to visit a dentist regularly. At Dallas Dental Wellness, we offer a range of routine dental services to help keep your mouth healthy. This includes professional teeth cleaning and comprehensive oral health checks.
For more complex dental needs, we also provide various procedures to restore, replace, and repair teeth, ensuring optimal dental function and aesthetics. Additionally, if you’re looking to enhance your smile, we offer cosmetic services like teeth straightening and whitening to help you achieve the smile of your dreams.
Contact your Dallas dentist today for a check-up and to see what services we can offer you to keep your mouth healthy and improve your smile!
“Dental Plaque,” Cleveland Clinic, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10953-plaque
“Flossing: Do I Really Have To?” Colgate, https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/plaque-and-tartar/flossing-do-i-really-have-to#
“Flossing,” American Dental Association, https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/all-topics-a-z/flossing