You probably know you should do it, but do you actually follow through with it? What are we talking about? It’s flossing your teeth, of course! The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you floss your teeth once daily.
If you’re not flossing, it may be because it seems too tedious to do the right way. Or perhaps you don’t see the need for flossing as long as you’re brushing your teeth regularly. Maybe you intend to floss, but just forget to do so. Whatever the reason – keep in mind that teeth flossing IS a very beneficial practice and will help keep your smile in good shape.
In addition, November 26 (the day after Thanksgiving) is National Flossing Day. What better time to give your teeth a good flossing than right after feasting on a delicious Thanksgiving Day dinner?
With all that in mind, Dr. LoCascio and the team at Highland Advanced Dental Care would like to devote this blog to flossing, its benefits, and how to do it properly. If you have any questions about your smile care or if you need to make an appointment, just give us a call at 248-329-3552 and one of our friendly team members will be glad to help you.
Flossing Will Help You Maintain a Beautiful Smile
So, why do we need to floss? Isn’t brushing enough? In a word, no. Brushing won’t remove the food particles that become trapped in between your teeth. Left alone, this debris allows bacteria to flourish and secrete acids that can damage your teeth; over time, small holes, or cavities, can develop. Bacteria can also accumulate under the gumline and cause gum disease.
Both cavities and gum disease will require dental treatments to get your smile back on track. In most cases, cavities are repaired with a filling, and a “deep cleaning” of your gums will take care of most mild to moderate gum disease.
However, proper flossing every day will help prevent these problems from ever occurring. You can save yourself hassle, money, and potential discomfort by being proactive with your teeth flossing.
Proper Flossing Is Simple
Obviously, if we’re going to take time to floss, we want to do it the right way. The ADA recommends you floss like this:
- Begin with a strand of dental floss about 18 inches long.
- Wrap the ends around your two middle fingers to serve as an anchor.
- Grasp the floss with your thumbs and forefingers on each hand.
- Gently insert the floss between your teeth.
- Curve the floss into a “C” shape around the tooth.
- Using smooth motions, move the floss up and down against the sides of the tooth.
- Rinse the floss as necessary to keep it clean and working properly.
- Progress around your mouth until you’ve flossed between each of your teeth, including the sides of your back teeth.
If you prefer to use a floss pick instead of dental floss, it will work just as well. Just use this technique:
- Gently slide the pick between your teeth and press the floss against your gums.
- Slide the pick up and down against the sides of your teeth.
- Rinse the pick if debris collects on it.
- Be sure to work the pick between each of your teeth.
Following these simple steps will pay big dividends with your smile. Also, be sure you’re brushing twice a day and remember to visit Highland Advanced Dental Care every six months for a dental cleaning and exam. These routine visits allow us to catch and treat small dental problems before they worsen and damage your smile.