Have you seen the recent news reports have questioned the effectively of flossing? These reports state that there is a lack of evidence proving that flossing is a necessary daily routine. So is it really necessary or is flossing just a scam? We still recommend daily flossing in order to practice your best oral hygiene. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also reaffirmed flossing as “an important oral hygiene practice” in an August 2016 statement. Flossing can remove pesky plaque that brushing cannot always get. It may also aid in reduction of gum disease and cavities. Stopping flossing will just put you more at risk for poor oral health.
There are several flossing methods you can choose from to make flossing more convenient. You can use regular floss, a pick, a water flosser, a pre-threaded flosser, or other options. It is important to consult with your dentist before choosing an alternative flossing option as to ensure you are properly educated on how to use it.
Another flossing question that is often asked if whether you should floss before or after you brush. The answer is: it doesn’t really matter as long as you get it done. Just be sure to allocate a few extra minutes one time daily to get your flossing done. Whether you do it before or after you brush will not make a difference on the effectiveness of flossing.
Please remember flossing is not something you do only when food gets stuck in your teeth. Although flossing with help remove the food, that is not its purpose. Flossing is necessary to remove plaque buildup from in between your teeth. This hard plaque is often not removed from brushing alone. Therefore, you must floss daily to remove it. Otherwise, it will sit on your teeth until you go to your dentist for a deep cleaning. Over time, plaque buildup can cause major damage to your teeth and gums. It is important to remove it as quickly as possible through thorough flossing.
Many people, especially children, have trouble flossing. We’ve outlined a few tips below to help you master the technique. Remember the alternative options listed above if normal flossing is difficult or uncomfortable for you.
- Use 18 inches of floss. Wrap most of it around the middle finger of one hand, the rest around your other middle finger.
- Grasp the string tightly between your thumb and forefinger, and use a rubbing motion to guide it between teeth.
- When the floss reaches the gum line, form a C to follow the shape of the tooth.
- Hold the strand firmly against the tooth, and move it gently up and down.
- Repeat with the other tooth, and then repeat the entire process with the rest of your teeth.
- Use fresh sections of floss as you go.
We hope you better understand the importance of flossing. Although it can be a hassle, it is necessary for optimal oral health. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us today.