How to Floss Properly And Why It Matters

May 18, 2023 | Family Dentistry

Flossing is an essential part of maintaining good oral hygiene. It involves using a thin, flexible strand of material to clean between the teeth and remove food particles and plaque that brushing alone can’t reach. Despite its importance, many people neglect to floss regularly. In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons why flossing is important, the proper technique for flossing, and tips for making it a regular habit.

Why Flossing is Important

There are several reasons why flossing is important:

  • Removes plaque and food particles: Brushing alone can’t remove all the plaque and food particles that get trapped between teeth. Flossing helps to clean these hard-to-reach areas and prevent plaque buildup, which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
  • Prevents gum disease: Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque and can lead to inflammation, bleeding, and even tooth loss. Flossing helps to remove the plaque that can cause gum disease and keep your gums healthy.
  • Improves bad breath: Food particles that get trapped between teeth can cause bad breath. Flossing helps to remove these particles and keep your breath fresh!
  • Saves money: By preventing gum disease and tooth decay, flossing can save you money on costly dental procedures such as fillings, root canals, and gum surgery.

Steps to Properly Flossing

Flossing is a simple and straightforward process. Here are the steps to properly floss your teeth:

1. Choose your floss: There are many types of floss available, including waxed and unwaxed, flavored and unflavored, and ribbon or thread-like. Choose the type that feels most comfortable to you and allows you to clean between your teeth effectively.

2. Measure the floss: Cut a piece of floss that is around 18 inches long. Wind most of the floss around one finger of each hand, leaving about an inch or two of floss between them.

3. Slide the floss between your teeth: Gently slide the floss between your teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Be careful not to snap the floss, as this can damage your gums.

4. Curve the floss around the tooth: Once the floss is between your teeth, curve it around the base of one tooth in a C-shape. Gently slide the floss up and down the side of the tooth, being careful not to press too hard on the gumline.

5. Repeat on adjacent teeth: After cleaning one tooth, move on to the next, using a fresh section of floss. Be sure to floss both sides of each tooth.

6. Don’t forget the back teeth: The back teeth are often overlooked when flossing. Be sure to floss all the way to the back of your mouth, using a fresh section of floss for each tooth.

7. Rinse and dispose of the floss: After flossing, rinse your mouth with water to remove any loosened plaque or food particles. Dispose of the floss in the trash.

How to Make Flossing a Habit

Flossing is an essential part of maintaining good oral hygiene, but it can be challenging to make it a regular habit. One way to make flossing a habit is to keep floss handy in a visible location, such as your bathroom counter or desk. This will serve as a reminder to floss regularly. Flossing at the same time every day can also help make it a habit. Try to incorporate it into your morning or evening routine, especially after meals. Using flossing aids, such as interdental brushes or water flossers, can also make flossing easier and more convenient. Make flossing enjoyable by finding a way to make it fun, such as listening to music or an audiobook while you floss. You can also track your progress using a habit tracker or calendar. Seeing your progress can be motivating and help you stay on track!

Instead of thinking of flossing as a separate task, it should be incorporated into your brushing routine. This can help make it feel like a natural part of your routine, rather than a chore. Consider using a timer or app to remind you to floss at the same time every day. Celebrate your progress by rewarding yourself after a week or a month of consistent flossing. Lastly, remember the benefits of flossing. Flossing can help prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath, and it’s just as important as brushing. By making flossing a regular habit, you can improve your oral health and overall well-being!

Need a Check-up?

If you’re in need of a dental checkup, Salling and Tate Dentistry is here for you! We offer comprehensive dental exams to detect any potential issues and provide personalized care to properly address them. Our team of experienced dental professionals uses state-of-the-art technology to ensure that patients receive the best possible care. Additionally, our knowledgeable staff can provide advice on how to improve your oral hygiene routine, and more tips and tricks to incorporate flossing into your everyday life. By visiting Salling and Tate Dentistry regularly, you can catch potential issues early and prevent more serious problems from developing. Don’t wait until you have a dental emergency to schedule an appointment. Contact Salling and Tate Dentistry today to schedule a checkup and take the first step toward maintaining your oral health!