The American Dental Association (ADA) is one of many who state the importance of flossing in your every day routine. Since it is so important it’s also important to know why you do it and to make sure you are doing it correctly.
The Importance of Flossing Your Teeth?
While it’s generally recommended to brush your teeth twice a day to remove plaque from the surface area of your teeth, floss on the other hand is geared more towards removing plaque and food from in between your teeth and beneath the gum line. Too much plaque may lead to gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Excessive plaque leads to periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. The bacteria from this plaque cause you gums to get red and swollen and bleed easily and can lead to the loss of teeth.
Are You Flossing Correctly?
The proper way to floss starts with getting a strand of floss that is long enough to wrap around both index fingers securely with about 1-2” of tight floss between the fingers. Slide the floss between your teeth using a back and forth motion scraping the sides of every tooth. As you slide the floss up and curve it around the gum line be careful not to force the floss to the gums too hard. Forcing the floss further than it would naturally go can bruise or dig into your gums. Continually adjust the floss so that the 1-2’’ section of floss is clean and repeat this process around all of your teeth.
For best results it is recommended to floss your teeth at least once every 24 hours.
Do I Floss or Brush First?
As far as what is more effective in the order of brushing or flossing, we recommend flossing first. When you floss first, you loosen plaque and food debris from the teeth that can then be brushed away. Flossing second will allow some of those loosened plaque or food particles to remain until the next time you brush your teeth. Be sure you are brushing for a full two minutes and cleaning around the gum line and between each tooth. Be sure to keep your regularly scheduled dental visits so that the plaque that does not come off as easily or that is in difficult locations can be removed and not build up to cause further problems.
If you have tooth pain or sensitivity it may be time to visit your dentist and get to the root of the problem. If you do in fact have a cavity it is comforting to know that you have many different options that don’t have to be painful and can easily resolve your issue.
Your best smile is the one that not only makes you look great but makes you feel great as well. Getting that perfect smile that you want doesn’t have to be a burden.
At Swish Dental we are always here to promote you and your smile. From General Dentistry, Family Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry, to Invisalign and Sleep Apnea Treatment, making you smile is what makes us smile. We’d love to walk with you on your dental journey so make an appointment today!