September 20, 2023
Most people are already in the habit of regularly brushing their teeth, and that is commendable. Sadly, though, not everyone is as diligent about flossing. In fact, according to one estimate, about one-third of adults do not floss at all! How important is it to clean between your teeth, and how can you do so properly? This blog post provides valuable information that will help you take better care of your oral health.
Flossing Is Important for Oral and Overall Health
Flossing is important for a number of reasons:
- It removes food particles and plaque. Your toothbrush cannot reach into the tight spaces between your teeth. Floss, on the other hand, can remove food particles and plaque that would otherwise contribute to cavities.
- It can reduce your risk of gum disease. An accumulation of bacteria between your teeth could lead to a dangerous infection in your gum tissue.
- It can help you enjoy a confident smile. A solid flossing routine can reduce your risk of bad breath and dental discoloration.
- It can support your overall health. Your efforts to prevent cavities and gum disease could reduce your risk of a number of health problems, including heart attack and stroke.
Tips for Effective Flossing
Here is a basic rundown of how to floss:
- Start with enough floss. Start with a piece of floss that is about 18 inches long. Wrap most of it around one of your middle fingers, and wrap a little around your other middle finger. Roll the floss between your fingers so you can use a clean section for each interdental space.
- Be gentle and thorough. Carefully insert the floss between your teeth (do not “snap” it). Curve it around each tooth and slide it between your gumline, then gently rub the sides of each tooth that surrounds the interdental space.
- Do not hurry. Thoroughly flossing your teeth should take 2 – 3 minutes.
If you would like a demonstration of how to floss, ask your dental hygienist for guidance.
What About Floss Alternatives?
Floss picks and water flossers (also called oral irrigators or WaterPik) may be easier to use than traditional floss. However, regular string floss has been shown to be the most effective way to clean between teeth. Alternative options may be acceptable if you have mobility problems or are wearing braces. Ask your dentist about product recommendations so you can use the items that are best for your unique smile.
Flossing is vital for your smile! Try to make it a daily habit so you can keep your teeth and gums in great shape.
Meet the Practice
Dr. Preetha Thomas has extensive experience as a holistic dentist. If you have questions about how to floss, why you should floss, or other things that relate to your oral health, she and our team would be pleased to serve you. Contact Enclave Dental at 817-912-1218.
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