Do you brush your teeth at least twice a day? Yes? Good! Continue doing that. Next question, do you floss daily? No? Maybe you should start doing so. Here’s why flossing your teeth is such a big deal:
Flossing is an essential part of taking care of both your teeth and gums. It is so important that the American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day. In doing so, you will be able to remove plaque from the areas between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach like under the gumline and between your teeth. This is important because plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into calculus or tartar. Flossing also helps prevent gum disease and cavities.
Follow these proper flossing tips, provided by the Colgate Oral Care Center for maximum benefits:
- Starting with about 18 inches of floss, wind a strand of floos around each middle finger leaving an inch or two of floss to work with
- Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth
- Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gumline.
- Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth
- To remove the floss, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth
When is the best time to floss? As long as you floss daily, it doesn’t matter when. However, we do suggest picking a time of day when you can devote an extra couple of minutes to your dental care. People who are too tired at the end of the day may benefit from flossing first thing in the morning or flossing after lunch. Others might want to do it after dinner or before going to bed which is okay too.
If however, you find it hard to use a regular floss, you do have other options. A dental pick, pre-threaded flosser, tiny brushes that reach between the teeth, water flosser, and wooden plaque remover are also commonly used. However, ask your dentist first which one is suitable for you.