Do you floss? It’s truly alarming how little people realize the importance of flossing. Just brushing your teeth, really isn’t enough to keep them healthy and clean. Don’t believe me? When you don’t floss, you’re missing up to 40% of the tooth’s surface area. Imagine if you only washed 60% of your body!
Your toothbrush can’t reach every space in your mouth – floss is designed to get into those awkward, hard to reach places. Forgetting to floss can allow nasty plaque to build up along the gum line, which if left untreated, can turn into gum disease.
So, if you’re not flossing – maybe it’s time to start.
How To Choose A Good Floss
Much like toothpaste, there’s a lot of choice when it comes to floss.
Grocery stores often have entire aisles dedicated to different kinds of floss – how do you know which is right for you?
- Thin floss is good for smaller spaces and tight gaps between your teeth
- Thick floss is better suited for larger gaps
- Tape’ floss or ‘Ultra’ floss is usually too thick, and may even cause damage
- Look for the ADA certified badge!
- If you wear braces, why not try waxed floss?
- A single filament is generally considered to be easier to use, though some people prefer multifilament
How To Floss
Flossing may not be second nature like brushing your teeth is but we’ve got some good news: flossing is just as easy! There’s no need to be intimidated, even if you’ve never flossed before. It really is never too late to start. All you need to do is take a couple of inches of floss between your fingers, and gently slide it between your teeth. This will remove any build-up of excess plaque and bacteria, and will dislodge any stuck food. You should try to floss between every tooth, so it can take a little bit of time – especially if you’re new to flossing.
If you’ve not flossed before, your gums might bleed. This isn’t anything to worry about, and it should stop after a couple of days. You only need to see a dentist if the issue persists.
For the best effect, you absolutely MUST floss every single day, right before you brush your teeth.
Just a little warning – DO NOT smell the floss after you’re done. It’s not good.
The Benefits of Flossing
What really makes it so shocking that 32% of Americans have NEVER flossed, is that there really are so many benefits to it! From cosmetic advantages to safer oral hygiene, there really is no reason that you shouldn’t be regularly flossing.
You could benefit from:
- Less likely to need dental care, which could end up saving you money
- Prevents gum disease and infection
- Removes plaque from your teeth
So, what are you waiting for? Now is the best time to take action, what’s holding you back? If you have any questions regarding flossing or have any other dental questions, you can always call or fill out a contact form and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
How Long Should I Floss For?
Unlike brushing, there’s no set amount of time that you should floss for. Most people will floss until they’ve covered every tooth – front AND back. It’s really a matter of preference – only you know when your teeth are truly clean!
Should I Floss or Brush First?
Different people follow different routines. Whilst it’s commonly thought that flossing first has more of a benefit, for the most part it doesn’t matter all that much. The most important thing is that you’re brushing and flossing correctly.
Can Flossing Damage My Teeth?
If you don’t floss correctly, you can risk damaging your teeth.
It’s best to take it slow. You don’t need to be aggressive!
At first, it might be slightly uncomfortable, but flossing should never hurt you. If you do notice any pain, see a dentist as soon as you can.
How Often Should I Floss?
Every day. Twice, preferably.
Flossing is a crucial element of oral hygiene that millions of people are skipping out on every single day. Are you? Flossing doesn’t have to be difficult.
I know it can be intimidating to get started if you’re late to the party, but once you get going, it becomes just as easy as brushing your teeth!
If you feel that a problem has developed in your mouth you should see your dentist immediately. At Tampa Palms Dentistry we know any dental disease that is in its initial stage is easy to control and treat, so it’s important to get you in the office as quickly as possible. We all know that having healthy teeth is important but by following these easy tips we can reduce the risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while or need to schedule a teeth cleaning appointment contact us or give us a call at (813) 333-1922.