Dental floss is a thin thread that you use to clean the spaces between your teeth and under your gums. It helps remove plaque, food particles, and bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Flossing is an essential part of oral hygiene, as it can reach areas that your toothbrush cannot.
But how often should you floss? And what is the best way to do it? Here are some tips for effective flossing that will keep your smile healthy and brigh
How Often Should You Floss?
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends flossing at least once a day, preferably before bedtime. This is because plaque and bacteria tend to accumulate more at night, when your saliva production decreases and your mouth becomes dry. Flossing before bed helps prevent plaque from hardening into tartar, which can only be removed by a professional cleaning.
However, some people may need to floss more often, depending on their individual needs and risk factors. For example, if you have braces, implants, crowns, bridges, or other dental work, you may need to floss more frequently to prevent food and plaque from getting trapped. If you have gum disease, diabetes, or a weakened immune system, you may also benefit from flossing more often to prevent infections and complications.
The best way to determine how often you should floss is to consult your dentist. They can assess your oral health and recommend a flossing routine that suits your specific situation.
How to Floss Properly
Flossing may seem simple, but there is a right and a wrong way to do it. Here are some steps to follow for proper flossing:
- Choose a floss that works for you. There are different types of floss, such as waxed, unwaxed, flavored, or unflavored. You can also use floss picks, holders, or interdental brushes if you find them easier to use. The most important thing is to use a floss that you like and that fits comfortably between your teeth.
- Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the rest around the same finger of the other hand. This will allow you to use a fresh section of floss for each tooth.
- Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and index fingers. Gently slide it between two teeth, using a back-and-forth motion. Do not snap or force the floss, as this can damage your gums.
- Curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure to go below the gum line. Use a gentle up-and-down motion to clean the side of each tooth. Do not rub or scrape the floss against your gums, as this can cause bleeding and irritation.
- Repeat the process for each tooth, using a clean section of floss each time. Do not forget to floss the back side of your last tooth on each side.
- Rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after flossing to remove any debris or bacteria.
- Dispose of the used floss in a trash can. Do not flush it down the toilet, as it can clog the pipes or harm the environment.
Flossing is an important part of your oral health, but it is not enough on its own. You also need to brush your teeth twice a day, visit your dentist regularly, and eat a balanced diet. These habits will help you prevent dental problems and maintain a beautiful smile.
If you are ready to experience the difference that Smile 360 Dental Specialists can make for your oral health and your confidence, contact us today to book your appointmen