Flossing is a vital aspect of maintaining gum and overall oral health, but it’s something a few of us know how to do effectively. Using dental floss removes food particles, plaque, and other debris your toothbrush simply cannot reach, particularly between the teeth and under the gum line. If you’re trying to avoid gum disease and tooth decay, a proper flossing technique can be an invaluable weapon in your arsenal.
Why Should I Be Flossing?
When food and debris become trapped between the teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach, pockets of bacteria begin to build up and cause everything from bad breath to cavities and gum disease.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, has been connected to a higher incidence of heart disease. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, inflammation from periodontal disease can also make existing heart conditions worse.
Other systemic diseases linked to gum disease by the AAP include osteoporosis and respiratory disease, along with pancreatic, kidney and blood cancers.
Dental Floss 101
Start with about 18 inches of floss, wrapped around the middle finger of each hand. Leave about two inches free between the two fingers. Pull the floss taut, sliding it in an up-and-down motion gently between each tooth.
Be sure to curve around the base of each tooth as well, going gently beneath the gum line. Take care not to use too much force, as the gum tissue is very delicate and easy to bruise. Snapping floss between tight spaces between teeth can cause bleeding or bruising, as well. As you move from one tooth to the next, use a clean section of floss.
How Often Should I Floss?
While you’d be doing your oral health a huge favor by flossing after every meal, it’s simply not practical for most people.
The American Dental Association recommends interdental cleaning or using a cleaner like a floss to clean between the teeth once each day. Before bed is the ideal time since salivary flow is limited when you’re sleeping and fewer bacteria are being washed and swept away from your teeth.
Flossing is an essential part of an overall oral health routine, but you’ll still need regular dental care. At Dynamic Dental Solutions, we believe maintaining your oral health should be as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. Our unique, patient-centered approach means your comfort is of the ultimate importance. Schedule an appointment today for a totally new experience in dental care.