do i need to floss my teeth brooklin dentist whitby

Why Is Flossing Essential For Good Oral Health?

January 29, 2023

Most of us usually brush our teeth at least once a day, but did you know that a shockingly low number of people floss their teeth daily? Dental flossing goes hand in hand with brushing and is essential to promote and maintaining good oral hygiene.

If you don’t floss your teeth, you are entirely missing, and therefore not cleaning, up to 50% of the surfaces of your teeth. The bristles of a toothbrush cannot reach the in-between tooth surfaces, leaving them full of plaque and bacteria. Not flossing your teeth puts you at a much higher risk of cavities and gum disease. 

Does flossing prevent cavities and gum disease? 

If bacteria are left between teeth to grow and multiply, they are more likely to eat away the tooth structure between teeth, causing cavities. In addition, gum tissue doesn’t like bacteria, and its presence can lead to inflammation, bleeding, pockets, recession and even future tooth loss. 

When should you floss?

Flossing once a day is adequate, and the best rule of thumb is to floss when you remember to do it. That means it may work best for your lifestyle to floss in the morning, at night, or before or after brushing your teeth, just as long as you do it every day and not miss any teeth! However, the optimal time to floss is at night before bed. It’s recommended to floss first to loosen bacteria and food, then brush them away afterwards.

What is the proper flossing technique?

You can use the floss that works best for you, and you find the easiest. That may mean manual floss or floss sticks with a handle. Be sure to slide the floss between the contacts of your teeth and “hug” the floss in a c-shape formation on either side of the tooth, accessing slightly underneath the gums on either side. It will help if you wiggle the floss slightly up and down within the contact on either side before moving on to the next. Once you get the hang of it, flossing shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. 

A Few Helpful Tips

  • Leave your floss where you can see it, so you remember to use it 
  • Floss at the time of day that works best for you 
  • Use whichever floss product you find easiest 
  • Be sure to replenish floss if you are running low 
  • Discard your floss after each use 
  • If you have a fixed retainer or bridge, use a “floss threader” to access the gum line

 If you have any questions about flossing, please call to book an appointment with us today.

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