Dental Flossing and Why You Should Make It A Habit

Making flossing a part of your dental hygiene routine.

Your dental hygiene routine is important. From brushing to flossing to rinsing with mouthwash, your teeth need the proper care to help you eat, talk, and smile.

However, flossing is usually skipped by most dental patients, leaving lots of tartar and plaque on the teeth. At Monica Neely DDS, we see this all the time and can tell when patients aren’t flossing their teeth.

Flossing is an important step in your morning (and evening) dental routine. Below, we’ll go over why you should make flossing a habit and how to floss the right way.

What is Flossing?

Flossing is used to clean the space between your teeth. It ensures that any particles stuck between your teeth are completely removed, as brushing alone may not be able to do the job.

Dentists suggest that you should floss every day, at least once a day. Ideally, you would floss before you go to bed so that there aren’t any food particles or other debris left in your mouth while you’re sleeping.

The need to floss increases even more if you have gaps between your teeth, as small food particles like seeds may easily get stuck and lead to not-so-fun dental issues.

If these particles are left for too long, they can rot and lead to gum issues or other serious concerns. Even knowing this, very few patients choose to floss as it does not result in instant gratification.

Let’s have a look at some stats:

  • The space between your teeth conceals 40% of the surface of the tooth, but it accounts for 80% of the problems.
  • The average amount of floss purchased a year per person: 18 yards
  • The amount that should be purchased each year: 122 yards
  • Only about 28% of people say that they floss regularly.
  • About 73% Americans say they would rather go shopping than floss their teeth

How to Floss the Right Way

The flossing process is very simple and involves using dental floss, which is basically a soft string, to clean your teeth.

  • Simply pull about 20 inches of floss from the dispenser. It should be enough to hold between your hands so that you can easily run it through your teeth.
  • Wrap both the ends of the string around your middle fingers and index finger (each hand).
  • Hold the string in a C-shape around each tooth and move your hand in different motions to clean the space.

Many patients also try to floss using a regular thread. While it can work well, it may not be a very good option because a sharp thread could lead to cuts and injuries.

Plus, if the thread is very thick, it may cause any gaps to widen, leading to more food particles getting stuck between the teeth and eventually requiring assistance from your dentist.

This is why experts suggest that you invest in dental floss. It comes in two options: nylon and PTFE. Both types offer similar benefits and are easy to use.

Dental floss is also very affordable, with one floss dispenser lasting up to one month. If you wanted, you could also invest in an electric or water flosser. They’re a little more expensive but are easy to use and don’t require a lot of effort on your part.

Why Should I Make Flossing a Habit?

Flossing has several benefits. Let’s take a look at each in detail:

  • It Can Prevent Gum Disease

Flossing regularly can prevent gum disease. According to many reports, people who floss and brush every day have a lower risk of developing gum diseases, mainly the first stage called gingivitis.

In addition to his, flossing can also help prevent bleeding gums. This is because food that gets stuck between your teeth can cause tooth decay and gum diseases.

The only proper way to remove these particles is to floss since brushing does not always work. Once these particles are removed, there’s no pressure on the gums so they don’t get damaged.

Flossing is important even if you don’t see or feel anything stuck between your teeth. This is vital because you may not always feel if something is stuck between the teeth.

  • It Can Prevent Bad Breath

One of the major reasons people have bad breath is the presence of food particles in their mouth. Food that is stuck between the teeth begins to rot and smell and it causing your breath to smell.

The best way to avoid bad breath, and further, halitosis, is to floss. This will remove rotten food particles and keep your breath odor-free.

  • It Can Make Your Teeth Look Better

Imagine smiling with food particles stuck between your teeth. It’s not only embarrassing but can affect your reputation at work or school.

Make it a habit to floss daily so that your smile looks perfect. It not only helps remove stuck debris but can also eradicate plaque, giving you a perfect smile.

Flossing is a necessary piece of your dental hygiene routine. It will keep your teeth, gums, and breath healthy. If you have questions about flossing, or notice issues when you’re flossing, give us a call at 405-302-0100.

About monicaneelydds

Dr. Monica Neely, DDS is a practicing Dentist in Edmond, OK. Dr. Neely graduated from University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry and has been in practice for 24 years. She then completed Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) Residency, a one-year post-graduate training in complex dental cases.

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