Do you usually dismiss the importance of flossing your teeth and just settle for brushing instead? You’re not alone. In fact, studies show that 20% of Americans have reported that they never floss their teeth.
However, flossing plays an integral part in keeping your teeth healthy and clean. It can help prevent oral health issues, such as cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Our team at Fresh Dental Care wants you to know why it’s important to stay on top of flossing and how you can do it properly to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Why you should floss
Why you should brush your teeth is pretty commonly understood. Your toothbrush is made to get rid of any lingering food and plaque that can lead to tooth decay. However, even though a good brushing can clean the outsides of your teeth, it won’t be able to get in between them well at all.
Flossing is the perfect solution to the problem of cleaning the spaces between each tooth, which is where food particles and plaque can hide and start cavities. These areas are also places where bacteria can go unchecked, which can lead to infections and gum disease.
However, by combining brushing and flossing, you can help prevent the development of cavities and keep your gums healthy.
Flossing isn’t difficult, but there are some key things you should do to get the most benefit from it, such as the following:
Make it a daily habit
If anything, this is the most important thing to take away. Flossing each and every day will still be beneficial even when your technique isn’t spot on. When you miss a day, it gives bacteria the opportunity to get under your gumline. This, in turn, can increase your chance of developing gum disease.
It’s best to move the floss back and forth gently between your teeth. If you’re too rough with the floss, it can irritate your gums and make them bleed. We recommend that once the floss gets to where your tooth meets the gum tissue, move it along just the tooth surface gently to get rid of any plaque.
Curve the floss
Another helpful trick is to curve your floss. If all you do is simply insert and remove the floss for each tooth, it can still leave quite a bit of plaque behind. So instead, try curving the floss against each tooth once you feel it’s in place. Then you can use that gentle back-and-forth motion to get rid of any lingering debris.
Your molars need flossing, too
Plaque is also able to build up in your molars, so it’s just as important to floss them, too. Make sure to curve the floss and then gently move it along the back surfaces of your molars in order to remove any buildup.
Never reuse floss
That piece of floss you use is going to be full of bacteria when you’re done with it. Because of this, make sure and use fresh floss every time you floss.
If you’re unsure of which type of floss to use, just remember that as long as you follow this set of flossing guidelines, you can use any floss that you feel comfortable using.
If you’d like more information on how to best floss your teeth, the American Dental Association offers an illustrated flossing guide here.
Our team is also always willing to give you whatever guidance you might need during your next office visit.
To schedule a visit at one of our five locations in Houston, book an appointment over the phone with Fresh Dental Care today.