It may look like a simple piece of string, but dental floss is so much more! It’s a proven ally in maintaining healthy teeth and gums and helps give your overall health a boost. Do you floss daily? What techniques help you get the most out of your flossing experience, without injury to your gums?
Your Seattle General Dentist , Dr. Vicki Fidler has complied a checklist to see if your flossing habits are up-to-par with the standard your smile deserves.
The Flossing Dilemma
Statistics www.statisticbrain.com/oral-hygiene-statistics reveal that only 50.5% of Americans follow the recommendation from the American Dental Association (ADA) to floss every day. Some 31 percent report flossing less than daily, and a whopping 18% say they never floss. Yikes!
Why You Should Floss
Although brushing is an important part of cleaning your teeth, there are areas between your pearly whites that your toothbrush bristles simply can’t reach. Left to linger in these hidden areas, bacteria can flourish. This leads to the formation of plaque, tooth decay, and gum disease.
That’s why daily flossing is imperative. It does more than just remove food debris stuck between your teeth. It also removes the plaque that brushing left behind. If you really want to do what’s best for your smile, it’s time to put an end to excuses. Floss your teeth every day, not just before you visit Dr. Fidler.
How to Floss Correctly
If you’re going to take the time to floss, it makes sense to do it the right way. Here are some simple yet important steps to follow according to the American Dental Association:
1. Use about 18 inches of floss wound around your middle finger, with the rest wound around the opposite middle finger.
2. Pinch the floss tightly between thumbs and forefingers and gently insert it between your teeth, using a gentle shoeshine motion.
3. When the floss reaches the gum line, curve the floss into a “C” shape against the side of the tooth.
4. Rub the floss gently up and down, keeping it pressed against the tooth. Don’t jerk or snap the floss.
5. Floss all your teeth, using extra pieces of floss if necessary. Don’t forget to floss behind your back teeth! By far the most gum disease and tooth decay occur in these back regions of the mouth.
Dr. Vicki Fidler