It’s not uncommon to rush through your morning and evening routines, especially when it comes to brushing your teeth. If you thought strictly sticking to the recommended two-minute brushing time wasn’t time-consuming enough, you also have to weave between each and every one of your teeth with floss after you’re done brushing. So is it really such a big deal to skip out on floss if you’ve already brushed your teeth?
Why We Floss
When you brush your teeth, you’re only able to properly clean the top, front, and back sides of each tooth. Flossing helps clean plaque and food particles out of the tight, hard-to-reach spaces in between teeth. Not doing so increases your chances of developing cavities or tooth decay.
Is Flossing Effective?
In the summer of 2016, the media was buzzing about reports that concluded that flossing wasn’t actually that impactful on dental health. Many dentists weighed in on the topic to offer their opinions. Some argued that while these reports indicate that flossing may not be all that necessary, it’s certainly not harmful and it is quite inexpensive to do. Others refuted the reports, saying that flossing is a definite requirement for excellent dental health. Most, if not all, however, emphasized the importance of flossing correctly as opposed to simply flossing at all.
How to Floss Correctly
When flossing is done correctly, it can work wonders on your dental health by keeping plaque at bay. First, take a large string of floss and wrap the ends around both of your middle fingers, leaving a couple of inches of floss to clean between your teeth. Using your thumb and middle fingers, slide the floss between your teeth in a “C” shape and make very gentle up-and-down motions. Make sure to go beneath the gumline to remove any excess buildup that’s hidden behind the gums. Keep using clean sections of the floss as you make your way through your flossing session.
Try not to briskly saw at your gums with the floss, as that will certainly cause pain and even bleeding (a little bleeding every now and again is normal, however). A gentle see-saw motion can do just the trick.
What Kind of Floss Should I Use?
This answer really depends on how much space you have between your teeth. Thinner flosses are more effective on teeth that are closer together, while dental tape works well for those with larger gaps between their teeth. Flosses that are made of nylon or Teflon are both popular and effective. You can also get a special floss holder if you find that wrestling with a long piece of floss is too difficult or time-consuming.
Overall, flossing is a great step in maintaining your dental health, and overlooking it can only make way for more potential damage to your teeth. It only takes a few minutes of your time each day to have a beautiful, healthy smile. It’s also important to schedule routine cleanings every six months. Here at Stratman Family Dentistry, we offer an array of services that can help you with your dental care needs. Schedule an appointment with us today!