Due to dental offices experiencing a mandatory shutdown, people are going longer without their professional cleanings. That's why it's so important to not only floss more regularly, but to do it correctly!
Did you know that when you don’t floss, you miss cleaning 35 percent of tooth surfaces in your mouth? That’s because brushing simply cannot get into those hard-to-reach spaces between your teeth. Unfortunately, however, bacteria can! Flossing completes brushing by cleaning the spaces your toothbrush can’t.
REGULAR FLOSSING CAN:
Prevent cavities. Have you ever flossed, even after brushing your teeth, and were surprised to find a remnant of your last meal? Flossing removes food debris and plaque, preventing cavity formation between the teeth, a common place for tooth decay.
Fight bad breath. If food or plaque are left in between teeth, they will eventually release a bad smell. Yuck!
Inhibit tartar buildup and gum disease. If left on teeth for too long, plaque hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. The presence of tartar can lead to gum disease and tooth loss. Gum disease is associated with other systemic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
Improve your appearance. Food debris and plaque make teeth look more yellow and gritty. Clean, healthy teeth always appear whiter and brighter!
From years of experience, we can confidently say that flossing makes a big difference in your oral and overall health.
When Is the Right Time to Start Flossing?
Kids take a while to develop the dexterity and hand-eye coordination they need to be able to floss their own teeth, but we shouldn’t wait until then to teach them or set an example. Parents demonstrating good brushing and flossing habits is an essential part of kids growing up with those habits. Another is to floss their teeth for them, and age two and a half is generally a good time to start.
More than anything else, consistency is key. Children who are comfortable with the idea of flossing as part of their day are much more likely to keep it up once they’re doing it for themselves.
Flossing Tips and Tricks
When teaching kids how to floss, there are a few things you can do to help get them engaged and motivated.
Explain why flossing is important. When kids know why flossing matters, they’ll be more willing to do it.
Make sure they know that Big Kids floss. Children are eager for ways to prove how grown up they are, whether it’s riding a bike without training wheels, tying their own shoes, or flossing!
If regular floss is too tricky, try flossers or floss picks. However, these are not our top recommendation as you can still miss flossing the entire surface of the tooth with floss picks! But something is always better than nothing!
Good Flossing Technique
To reap the benefits of flossing, it has to be done correctly. In a 2006 study, researchers wanted to see whether flossing at home had the same benefits as having daily flossing done by professionals. The study showed that participants who were flossed professionally had a 40 percent decrease in their risk of cavities than their at-home flossing counterparts. The researchers concluded that flossing, when done properly, has a substantial, positive effect on oral health.
Many people simply snap the floss in between their teeth and pull it back out. The correct way, however, is to curve the floss around the tooth, as if the floss were hugging it. Still curved around the tooth, move the floss up and down to scrape the plaque. Do the same on the other tooth.
After gently cleaning in both directions between two teeth, slide the floss back out and shift to a clean section of floss for the next spot. It’s important to use clean floss each time, or you’re basically just moving plaque from one area to another instead of getting rid of it!
Dr. Boone shows us how to properly floss (in a funny way!)... see the video below!
We Can Help!
If you have any questions about good flossing technique or how to pass a daily flossing habit on to your kids, just let us know! We’re experts in dental health, and that includes flossing and helping kids and adults to become experts in taking care of their own teeth. It's never too late to start awesome oral health habits!
We look forward to seeing your smile again!
Bright Inspired Dentistry
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.