Flossing 101

Posted .

We all know we need to do it, yet few of us are hitting the 100% mark on the goal of flossing. Flossing can seem like an extra step that you only need to do when you have lots of food stuck in your teeth. But studies have shown that people who brush their teeth have cleaner, healthier, and whiter teeth. They even have better overall health! Flossing is a habit we all need to adopt, but how and why? That’s what we’re sharing with you today.

Flossing 101


Why?

Flossing is critical for removing food and plaque from your teeth. Your brush can only do so much, and it can’t reach in between the teeth like floss can. Flossing helps remove all the gross extras from in between your teeth, loosening up leftover food particles and plaque so that they don’t become tartar which can cause gingivitis.

When?

Every single day BEFORE you brush your teeth. Why? Because it will loosen up plaque and food that can then be brushed away by your toothpaste. Flossing first helps brushing be the most effective it can be. Floss every night before brushing to remove buildup. It may also be a good habit to begin flossing after meals to quickly remove leftover food.

How?

Instead of just up-and-down, avoiding the gums, like most adults do, you should be curling the floss around the tooth to increase the surface area in contact with the floss. This will remove the most plaque. Then adjust your floss to a clean section for the next tooth, otherwise you’re just spreading bacteria and possibly depositing it on another tooth. Gross! Also be sure to gently slip the floss just under the gum line, where tartar and plaque is most likely to accumujlate.

Floss picks are popular choices, but adults should avoid using them, since they don’t’ stay clean enough to use on every single tooth. They can make a great introduction to flossing for children though. Begin teaching your kids the practice of flossing as part of a healthy oral hygiene routine as soon as their teeth can touch, because they will begin storing plaque and food particles at that point.

Finish

After flossing, carefully brush all surfaces of your teeth with a good fluoride toothpaste. Then finish the routine with a cavity-fighting and bacteria-killing mouthwash. This routine, when completed consistently, will help your mouth stay clean, fresh, cavity-free, and healthy for the duration of your life. It’s well worth the effort and commitment. However, even the best hygiene isn’t a replacement for regular dental checkups which will also remove built up tartar, so be sure to get your teeth cleaned by a professional regularly.