It may look like a simple piece of string, but dental floss is so much more! Flossing is a proven ally in maintaining healthy teeth and gums and helps give your overall health a boost.
Do you do it daily? What techniques help you get the most out of your flossing experience, without injury to your gums? Your Smokey Point dentists at Seven Lakes Dental in Smokey Point WA have compiled a checklist to see if your flossing habits are up‐to‐par with the standard your smile deserves. Statistics show that only 50.5% of Americans follow the recommendation from the American Dental Association (ADA) to floss every day. And then 31 percent report flossing less than daily, and a whopping 18% say that they never floss at all. Yikes!
Why You Should Floss
Although brushing is an important part of cleaning your teeth, there are areas between your pearly whites that your toothbrush bristles simply can’t reach. Left to linger in these hidden areas, bacteria can flourish. This leads to the formation of plaque, tooth decay, and gum disease. That’s why daily flossing is imperative. It does more than just remove food debris stuck between your teeth. It also removes the plaque that brushing left behind. If you really want to do what’s best for your smile, it’s time to put an end to excuses. Floss your teeth every day, not just before you visit the dentist.
How to Floss Correctly
If you’re going to take the time to floss, it makes sense to do it the right way. Here are some simple yet important steps to follow according to the American Dental Association:
- Use about 18 inches of floss wound around your middle finger, with the rest wound around the opposite middle finger
- Pinch it tightly between thumbs and forefingers and gently insert it between your teeth, using a gentle shoeshine motion
- When the floss reaches the gum line, curve the floss into a “C” shape against the side of the tooth
- Rub it gently up and down, keeping it pressed against the tooth- don’t jerk or snap it
- floss all your teeth, using extra pieces of floss if necessary. Don’t forget to get behind your back teeth! By far the most gum disease and tooth decay occur in these back regions of the mouth
If you need some help remembering these steps, simply click here for a downloadable diagram version of the ADA flossing guidelines.
Ready. Set. Floss!
It does take time to floss correctly, but those 3‐5 minutes per day are well worth the effort. Along with diligent brushing and faithful flossing, make regular visits to your dental professionals a part of your oral health routine. Make your appointment at Seven Lakes Dental today to show off your fabulous flossing habits!