Most people remember to brush their teeth in the morning and at night, but 10% of Americans don’t remember to floss at all. This is a major issue since flossing prevents gum disease and tooth decay more so than brushing your teeth. In order to dodge the typical dentist question of “how often do you floss,” people make up excuses such as “food doesn’t get stuck in my teeth” or “I don’t know how to.” Dentists advise you to floss, not just to remove leftover food, but mostly to decrease plaque build up. The plaque that sticks to your teeth cause cavities and tooth decay if left over time.
- Wrap about 18 inches of floss around your middle fingers, then press the floss against your thumb or grasp it with your forefingers.
- Start by using an up and down motion between your teeth.
- When the floss hits the gum line, make a C shape around the tooth and follow the contour line of both teeth to clean the edges fully.
- Repeat with each tooth.
Now that you know how to clean the plaque out properly, make sure to floss at least once a day and not an hour before you go to the dentist! If your teeth are sensitive, be gentle and don’t rub the floss too hard against the gum, as damage to the tissue could occur. If you still cannot get the technique right, try purchasing disposable dental flossers that are designed to make it easy.
Take the time to floss your teeth well. If you do a quick and insufficient job, flossing your teeth will lose its benefits. Patients get worried when their gums start bleeding, but that’s usually not a bad sign. Bleeding gums after flossing means you haven’t been flossing enough or you have been using an incorrect method.
If you haven’t been flossing once a day, make sure to book an appointment with us so you don’t have to worry about potential tooth decay or gum disease!