Flossing is perhaps one of the most widely misunderstood topics in the world of dental hygiene. However, if you want to do everything possible to safeguard your oral health, then it is a good idea to get started with flossing. Studies have shown that flossing correlates to a higher level of overall health compared to those who do not floss – not just a higher level of dental health.
Let’s explore some of the most common questions around flossing and how to do it better.
Why is Flossing Important?
When you think of flossing, you probably think of the “stuff” that comes out from between your teeth when you do it. It is important to remove this food debris, which your toothbrush may not be able to reach. More importantly, though, flossing disruptions the formation of plaque on your teeth in hard-to-reach areas that are especially prone to decay over time.
Why Do People Avoid Flossing?
Many people think of flossing as a difficult and time-consuming endeavor. If you have difficulty flossing the traditional way, you can use floss holders to make the process easier. These small, y-shaped devices hold floss for you and allow you to easily floss between each tooth. Some people prefer to use “water picks,” which clean between teeth with a gentle jet of water.
How Can I Floss More Effectively?
When it comes to flossing, technique is everything. Most people see the best success with about 18 inches of dental floss. Wrap it around the middle fingers of each hand, then grasp the taut floss between your thumbs and forefingers.
Use a gentle motion to move the floss in between your teeth until reaching your gums. Once you do, pull the floss just as gently across the contours of your teeth. Remember to hold your floss against each tooth as you clean them.
Give yourself more “slack” on the floss as you go so that you are always using a clean portion of floss. By the time you have flossed between all of your teeth, you should naturally run out of clean floss and be ready to discard it.
What Should I Look Out For When Flossing?
— Many people experience some bleeding of the gums the first time they floss.
— Bleeding, if experienced, should not recur after the second or third session.
— Be extremely gentle when guiding your floss around the gum line area.
— Don’t forget to floss your back teeth, where most tooth decay occurs.
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