Everyone’s oral hygiene routine should include regular flossing. According to the American Dental Association, the most effective oral health comes from flossing at least once a day, every day. Tooth brushing does a great job to remove plaque, but there are areas in between the teeth that a brush cannot reach. If left untouched, this plaque will eventually harden and then turn into tartar. In addition, flossing helps to prevent things like cavities and gum disease. There is a lot of confusion when it comes to flossing and, let’s face it, it takes some time and effort. As such, many people avoid it altogether. Making flossing a part of your daily routine is critical to keeping your smile healthy and bright. Adults and children must make the time to floss, no matter how busy their schedules may be.
Keep the following tips in mind as you build flossing into your everyday routine:
- Timing is not as important as doing – whether it’s in the morning or at night make sure you floss daily at a convenient time for you
- Children should be flossing as soon as they have two touching teeth
- Flossing will cause pain in the beginning, this is a sign that you need to floss more often
- Once you get into a regular flossing routine, the discomfort should subside and if it doesn’t, go see your dentist
- Do not snap your floss into your gums, use a gentle rubbing motion
- When your floss reaches your gum line, curve it into a “C” shape to glide it against your tooth
- Use either nylon or PTFE floss
- Rinsing with water does not have the same effect as flossing
- Rinse after you floss in order to remove the food particles and plaque that were loosened while flossing
- Be gentle – bad flossing techniques can cause more damage than one would imagine
Whether you use waxes floss or unwaxed floss, thin floss or wide floss, flavored floss or unflavored floss, making it a habit is essential. Far too many people avoid flossing because it seems likely and like too much of an effort. In reality, once flossing becomes a regular part of your dental routine you won’t think twice about it. Avoid tooth decay and gum disease, keep your breath fresh, and maintain that healthy, clean smile that you love with a few extra minutes a day spent flossing.