Flossing is an important aspect of oral health, just as important as brushing in many respects. Not only that, the ADA recommends it and your dentist will certainly give you a hard time if you’re not doing it.
Cleaning between your teeth daily with an interdental cleaner (such as dental floss) improves your teeth and gum health and has even been shown to help prevent cavities and gum disease.
Plaque is a sticky film that coats your teeth that contains bacteria that feed on leftover food and sugar in your mouth after you eat. This process releases acids that eat away at your tooth enamel and end up causing cavities and tooth decay.
Plaque that goes uncleaned will turn into tartar (also called calculus). Tartar can start to collect along your gum line and will eventually cause gum disease. Remember that once tartar forms, only your dentist can remove it!
Choosing the Right Tool
Simple dental floss helps clean hard to reach places, but dental picks and water flossers might take your flossing game to the next level. If you have trouble flossing by hand or you have dental appliances that increase difficulty, like braces or permanent or fixed bridges, dental picks and water flossers can be incredibly beneficial.
Quick Flossing Tips
If you’re using traditional floss, make sure you’re the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers. Use floss to slide gently up-and-down between your teeth.
Try to gently curve the floss around the base of each of your teeth, making sure you get beneath your gum line. Clean your floss as you go. Make sure you use clean sections of floss to remove food and bacteria from your teeth.
What Type of Floss to Use
Nylon floss comes in waxed and unwaxed variations, not to mention a variety of flavors. However, this type of floss can tear or shred, especially when cleaning those tight places. Single filament (PTFE) floss can slide easily between teeth, even in those tight places, and it’s virtually resistant to shredding.
Contact Audubon Dental Center if you need more information about how to floss properly for your oral health. We treat the entire family as Clinton, MD’s number one general, pediatric, and family dentist.