Do you floss? Most people understand they need to brush twice a day, but flossing is equally important if you want to keep your smile healthy. Unfortunately, according to the American Dental Association, only about 40 percent of Americans floss daily, and 20 percent never floss at all.
Why You Should Be Flossing
Flossing is essential because your toothbrush can’t reach between teeth to clear away the plaque that collects during the day. Thorough flossing is not complicated or time-consuming; you should be able to do your whole mouth in five minutes. Establishing a routine is the best way to ensure that you floss regularly, so pick a time that makes sense for you.
Tips for Flossing
Then you can follow these five simple steps to make sure you are getting the most out of your efforts:
- Remember to clean both sides between a tooth – You want to be sure you are forming the floss into a “C” shape, then slip it between your teeth. Wrap the floss around the tooth on one side and clean it, then do the same on the other side.
- Change floss when moving to the next tooth – Floss is inexpensive, so don’t worry about conserving it. Reusing floss just transfers plaque from the tooth you already cleaned, which is counterproductive since you’re trying to remove plaque entirely!
- Don’t force floss between teeth – In some cases, you may find it difficult to slip the floss between teeth. Do NOT force it as doing so can cause the floss to snap and cut tender gum tissue.
- Establish a pattern – You may find flossing to be less of a chore if you find a pattern that works for you then stick to it. It doesn’t matter whether you start on the upper left and move to the lower left or do the upper arch and lower arch separately. Just do what works for you, and gradually the motions will become second-nature.
Call Northport Family Dental to Learn More
If you haven’t been flossing, please don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. We are your dentist in Northport, NY, and we aren’t here to judge or lecture you. Give us a call and let us help you get your oral health back on track!