We all know we should do it, yet many of us don’t. What is it? It’s flossing our teeth, of course! The American Dental Association recommends that we floss our teeth once a day, along with brushing twice a day.
If you’re not flossing as you should, maybe it’s because flossing seems too tedious to do the right way. Or perhaps, you don’t see the need for it as long as you’re brushing your teeth regularly. Maybe you intend to floss, but simply forget to do so. Whatever the reason, keep in mind that regular flossing will help you maintain a beautiful smile and healthy mouth. In addition, November 26 is National Flossing Day. What better time to floss your teeth than right after a delectable Thanksgiving Day dinner?
With these thoughts in mind, the team at Beaumont Family Dentistry would like to devote this blog to flossing, as well as its benefits and how to do it correctly. If you have any questions about your smile care or if you need to make an appointment, just give us a call at any of our three locations and a member of our friendly team will be glad to help.
Flossing Daily Helps Prevent Oral Problems
So, what’s the big deal with flossing, anyway? Isn’t it enough just to brush our teeth? The answer is simple – NO! Even with good brushing, food particles can become lodged in between your teeth. Left alone, this debris will allow bacteria to multiply over time and secrete acids that eat away at your tooth enamel. Tiny holes can form, known as cavities, that will require a tooth filling to repair in most cases.
Bacteria can also accumulate under your gumline, a condition known as gum disease. As gum disease worsens, pockets of infection can develop and put your teeth in real danger of loosening and even falling out. A “deep cleaning” using scaling and root planing is usually needed to put your gums back into health.
These problems can often be avoided by simple flossing every day. Taking a few minutes for this practice can keep your teeth and gums healthy and attractive.
Proper Flossing Is Key to Your Dental Health
If we’re going to floss every day, we need to make sure we’re doing it correctly. The ADA recommends flossing this way:
- Start with a strand of dental floss about 18 inches long.
- Wrap the two ends around both of your middle fingers to anchor the floss.
- Hold the floss between your index fingers and thumbs on both hands.
- Gently insert the floss between your teeth and curve it into a “C” shape around the tooth.
- Using smooth, even motions, work the floss up and down against the sides of your tooth to remove debris.
- Rinse the floss as needed to keep it clean and make sure it does its job.
- Floss in between each of your teeth and be sure to get your back teeth as well.
If you’d rather use a floss pick than dental floss, that’s fine. Here’s a good technique to use in that case:
- Gently insert the pick in between your teeth, pressing the floss against your gums.
- Work the floss in and out to remove trapped food particles.
- Rinse the pick to make sure it stays clean.
- Remember to floss between each of your teeth.
Even if you brush and floss daily, you still need to visit Beaumont Family Dentistry every six months for a dental cleaning and exam. Routine visits allow us to spot and treat small oral problems before they worsen and cause bigger damage. Call one of our three convenient Lexington locations today to schedule an appointment. You can also request an appointment online.