Flossing daily is one of the most important things you can do to prevent food debris and harmful bacteria from building up between your teeth. Only about a third of American adults floss every day. And, even those who do may be missing spots or using less-than-ideal technique.
At Trident Dental, our team offers a full range of dental services from our location in Houston, Texas. We know how essential flossing is for your long-term dental health. That’s why we put together this list of tips to improve and perfect your flossing habits. Here’s what you need to know.
Why flossing matters
Americans eat a lot of sugar each year. Bad bacteria in your mouth also thrive on simple carbohydrates and starches. These factors can put your teeth at risk of decay and cavities. Food debris often builds up in the interdental spaces between your teeth, where your toothbrush may not be able to reach. And that’s why you need to floss every day.
Use proper flossing technique
If you’re using traditional string floss, are you using it in the best way? You should use gentle back-and-forth motions to guide the floss between each of your teeth, wrapping the thread of the floss into a C-shape around each tooth. Make sure to floss between teeth in the back of your mouth, as well as the front!
Plan on rinsing your mouth with water after flossing to clear it of any debris you’ve dislodged.
Try new flossing tools
Not all mouths are the same. Some people have crowded teeth or crowns, or full mouths due to braces or other orthodontia. So, it can be a good idea to experiment with different flossing tools, beyond the basic string floss.
Could you benefit from using a water pick? Water flossers use a strong jet of water to clean between your teeth. While water flossers are slightly less effective than regular string floss, they can be easier to use for patients with gum or dental sensitivity.
You might also find flossing easier if you switch to a pre-threaded flosser or dental pick.
Flossing regularly is the most important part of your flossing game. Perfect technique doesn’t help your teeth if you can’t remember to keep to this element of your oral hygiene routine on a daily basis.
If you’re only going to floss once a day, do so before bedtime. It’s never good for your teeth to have debris lodged between them, but you should at least dislodge debris before you sleep at night. The longer food debris sits between your teeth, the higher the risk of bacteria secreting harmful acids that eat away at your tooth enamel while feeding on the food remains.
You can improve your flossing regularity by creating a flossing chart, setting reminders for yourself, or even rewarding yourself for maintaining a week-long daily flossing streak.
The team at Trident Dental works with you to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Regularly scheduled professional cleaning appointments are a great time to check in with your provider at Trident Dental about any questions you might have around flossing and your oral hygiene routine.
Schedule your appointment at Trident Dental online or over the phone today.