Many people have their reasons for not being able to floss every day. Some may not realize the importance, while others may be too tired after a long day. The truth is, flossing is equally as important as brushing your teeth. Flossing your teeth every night can help prevent gum disease and tooth decay, which in time can lead to cavities. According to a study by the American Dental Association, approximately half of Americans floss daily, while 18% do not floss at all.

Flossing correctly also helps with bad breath. The food particles that are not removed between your teeth and gums from brushing contribute to bad bacteria and the smell that may be lingering around in your mouth.

What is the right way to floss?

It takes more than quickly slipping floss in and out of each tooth to effectively remove any or all build up. When flossing correctly, you will remove plaque and food in places that your toothbrush cannot reach. Here are some tips on how to floss your teeth the right way:

  1. Starting with about 18 inches of floss, wrap most of the floss around your index or middle fingers. You should have one to two inches of floss left to work with.
  2. Gently slide the floss up and down between each tooth, careful enough not to push hard against the gums. Never force the floss as this can cut or bruise sensitive gum tissue.
  3. Curve the floss in a “C” shape around the base of each tooth to remove any food accumulation.
  4. It is important to make sure you floss beneath the gumline and that you reach the back of your teeth in all of the hard to reach areas.
  5. Use clean sections of your floss for each tooth.
  6. To remove floss, use a gentle back and forth motion to bring floss away from the teeth.

There are many different types of floss that you can choose from and is only a matter of personal preference.

  • If you have large gaps between your teeth, dental tape may work best for you. Dental tape is wider than most regular types of floss.
  • If your teeth are close together, waxed floss makes it easier to slide between each tooth.
  • Disposable floss works for those who don’t like dealing with the mess of a long string of floss.
  • Waterpik is an advanced and different method of flossing that consists of using a flosser tip and water to make flossing an easy and effective part of your day.

It doesn’t matter if you floss before or after you brush as long as it is done correctly. A poll conducted by asked readers if they brush their teeth before or after they floss. 53% stated they brush before, while a close 47% said after.

Flossing daily helps improve your oral hygiene and is an essential part of your overall health.

Remember that children need to floss, too. You should be flossing your children’s teeth as soon as they have two teeth that touch.

It is best to schedule your regular dental check-ups to address any questions you have and maintain a healthy lifestyle for you and your family. Call Dr. Ritzau at Shoreline Dental Studio at (949) 234-6850 to set up a time that works for you today!

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Shoreline Dental Studio