Regular flossing is one of the most important cleaning and maintenance tools in dentistry. Flossing your teeth every day keeps fragments of food from between the teeth. It also helps massage your gums, making sure there is adequate blood flow to the tissues.
Proper Flossing Technique
Your dentist can help you perfect your flossing technique in the office. Just ask for a demonstration, and he can help you see where you might be missing areas or not cleaning thoroughly enough. In general, though, flossing technique can be broken down to the following steps:
- Remove about eighteen inches of floss
- Anchor both ends by wrapping them around one finger on each hand
- Slide the floss between the teeth using a gentle sawing motion
- With the floss wrapping your tooth in a “C” shape, slide it slightly behind the gum
- Unwrap the floss as you work so you have a clean piece for each tooth
You should floss at least once a day, although twice a day is better. Many dentists recommend flossing in the morning and evening. If you only have time to floss once, evening is ideal because you can ensure your teeth are as clean as possible before you go to bed.
The Importance of Flossing in Dentistry
Sadly, less than half of Americans take the time to floss on a regular basis. Some people skip flossing because they don’t appear to have actual food particles caught between the teeth. This omission has a detrimental long-term effect on their oral health. Flossing is important in dentistry because it helps reduce the buildup of plaque between the teeth. In fact, this is a more important function than removing food particles. Plaque is a sticky, white substance that is highly acidic, and which over time hardens into tartar. When plaque and tartar build up on your teeth, the acid eats through the enamel, causing cavities. It can also build up behind the gumline, leading to gum disease and causing the gums to pull away from the tooth roots. Regular flossing can reduce the likelihood of both these long-term problems, thus ensuring your teeth and gums are healthy.
Call 416-922-1012 to learn more tips about dental hygiene from our experienced dental team today.