Flossing should be an important part of your daily oral hygiene routine. It removes the food stuck between your teeth and under the gumline—places a toothbrush can’t reach. Removing trapped food reduces the amount of plaque and bacteria that would otherwise build up in your mouth. Over time, accumulated plaque hardens into tartar. This can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Once tartar forms, only your dentist or hygienist can remove it.
How to floss
The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day and flossing once daily. Cleaning between your teeth shouldn’t be painful. If you floss too hard, you could damage the tissue between your teeth. If you’re too gentle, you might not get the food out. It’s normal to feel some discomfort at first, but don’t give up; it should ease within a week or two. If pain persists, talk to your dentist.
Try different options until you find the flossing method that works best for you. For example, dental picks might help you get to hard-to-reach places. Water flossers might be a good option if you have trouble flossing by hand or have dental work that makes flossing difficult.
1. Make sure that the floss you choose fits properly between your teeth
2. Loosely wrap 18 inches of floss around your middle fingers until you have about two inches left between your fingers
3. Holding the floss firmly between your thumbs and index fingers, gently slide the floss in a “C-shape” up and down between your teeth, working it beneath the gumline on both sides
4. Move to a clean section of floss and repeat until you have cleaned around each tooth
We know; adding yet another item to your “to-do” list is the last thing you want to do. The good news is, once you get the hang of flossing correctly and you make it part of your daily hygiene routine, the short time you spend flossing each day will pay off in ways you never imagined. You’ll have fewer serious dental issues, better overall health and save money.