You are likely aware of the importance of flossing for your oral health. The recommendations from the American Dental Association (ADA) suggest you should floss your teeth at least once a day.
But why is flossing so important if you’re already brushing your teeth? And what is a proper flossing technique? Let’s discuss those answers!
Why Is Flossing Essential?
Flossing is an essential practice to obtain good dental health. Try to floss at the same time as you brush your teeth at night. Both actions work to remove plaque from the surface of your teeth.
Your toothbrush removes plaque from the visible surfaces of your teeth and flossing cleans in between your teeth. Plaque needs to be removed every day otherwise it accumulates and forms tartar. Tartar is the substance that causes gum disease. You are at a greater risk of tooth loss if you have gum disease.
The recommendations from the American Dental Association (ADA) suggest you should floss your teeth at least once a day.
Flossing at night is recommended because it will also remove any food particles that have accumulated during the day. This will also eliminate one cause of bad breath.
What Type of Floss Should I Use?
You may be able to find two types of floss, nylon floss or filament floss. Nylon floss can hold a flavor and will sometimes be available in mint. Filament floss has the advantage of being stronger than nylon floss so there is less chance of breaking between your teeth. It does usually come at a higher price though.
How to Floss The Right Way?
Using the proper flossing technique will help you remove plaque successfully.
- Start with a piece of dental floss about 18 inches long.
- Wrap it around your two index fingers or pinch it between your thumbs and index fingers, leaving a 2-inch section to clean your teeth.
- Carefully slide the floss between each tooth using a sawing motion. (Don’t let it snap between.)
- Wrap the dental floss around the tooth, making a C shape.
- Slide the floss back and forth across the tooth going down (or up) into the gum line.
- After each tooth, use a new 2-inch piece of floss to clean the next tooth.
- Continue the steps until all teeth are clean.
Floss with clean hands to reduce the transfer of bacteria into your mouth.
Plaque needs to be removed every day otherwise it accumulates and forms tartar. Tartar is the substance that causes gum disease.
Is It Better To Brush First or Floss First?
There is no rule or reason to do one first over the other. As long as you use the proper flossing technique and that you do both of them regularly you will contribute toward good oral health.
You should also schedule checkups and deep cleans with the dentist and hygienist at least twice a year. They will remove plaque from those hard-to-reach places and check for any other problems that might be developing.
What If I’ve Neglected My Teeth Beyond Repair?
Missing teeth caused by gum disease or tooth decay are usually a result of neglect. The surgeons at California Oral Surgery can help replace missing teeth. Operating from Stockton, CA, the surgeons offer expert dental care such as dental implants to their patients throughout San Joaquin County.
Implants are a good option to replace missing teeth as they look and feel like natural teeth as well as maintaining natural function. Contact us now to make an appointment and see whether dental implants are for you.