Flossing every day is one of the most important dental habits you can have. It removes food that becomes lodged between your teeth and cleans your mouth. This habit also reduces the quantity of plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Both of these factors can build up on your teeth and can contribute to gum disease and cavities. However, many people do not know how to floss. To learn more about this important dental hygiene practice, contact Columbia Smiles today.
Why You Should Know How to Floss
Most people in the United States brush their teeth every day. However, not nearly as many people floss as often as they brush. In fact, only about 40% of Americans floss at least once a day, and 20% never bother with this important habit.
Despite the fact that so few Americans make flossing a part of their daily routine, it is vital to learn how to do so and do it correctly. Not flossing can lead to cavities and infections, as the food gets left behind and allows bacteria and plaque to grow there. If you floss incorrectly, however, you can damage your gums and teeth. Therefore, it’s essential to know how to floss properly.
How to Floss
The first thing you need to do is break off a length of dental floss. Most dental professionals suggest between 18 to 24 inches. Hold the floss by winding most of the length around your middle fingers. You should leave only about an inch or two to floss with ideally.
Next, pull the floss taut using your index finger and thumbs. Insert the dental floss between two of your teeth. Slide the floss up and down against both sides of your teeth. Make sure that you don’t glide the floss into your gums because you can bruise or scratch your gums. Instead, when it reaches your gums, curve it to form a C. Doing so will allow the floss to go into the space between your tooth and gums.
Continue doing the steps about as you go from tooth to tooth. Make sure that you use a clean section of floss with every tooth.
Most dentists recommend that you floss and then brush your teeth. This recommendation removes food particles first so that brushing will allow you to remove those particles from your mouth. If you do it the other way around, the plaque and food stay in your mouth until you brush your teeth again. It’s essential to floss at least once a day and brush twice every day. If you have frequent meals, you may need to brush and floss more than that.
What Kind of Floss Should I Use?
There is no perfect answer to this question. There are many varieties of dental floss, and which type you should use depends on your preferences. Some types of floss are easier to use in wide spaces, while others are simpler in tighter spaces. You can ask the dental experts at Columbia Smiles what type would be. Your options include:
- Dental tape
- Standard floss
- Super floss
You may also choose to use a Waterpik or other emerging methods. The type of floss that you want to use is not as important as ensuring that you know how to floss and do so daily.
Learn More at Columbia Smiles
At Columbia Smiles, we are focused on making sure that your dental health is in the best possible condition. Our services include:
- Periodontal treatment
- Root canal treatment
- Wisdom teeth extraction
- Dental implants