While often considered to be a mundane and frustrating task, flossing has been proven to optimize your dental health. In fact, flossing is considered to be an imperative aspect of taking care of both your teeth and your gums. It is recommended that you floss at least once a day. This act aids in eliminating plaque and other types of debris from between the teeth. Flossing is necessary because a toothbrush is unable to effectively reach these regions of the mouth. If the plaque and other types of debris are allowed to remain in between the teeth, it could result in the formation of tartar or a substance called “calculus”. Additionally, neglecting to clean the regions between the teeth may result in the development of cavities and/or gum disease.
When to Floss
In the year 2015, a poll asked individuals if they flossed before they brushed their teeth or after. A total of 53% of all people stated that they brush before flossing their teeth and the remaining 47% stated that they flossed their teeth and then brushed their teeth. Many are confused as to exactly when they should floss. According to most dentists, anytime is fine as long as it is being done. The goal is to ensure that you floss each day and that you do a completely thorough job. If you want to optimize your dental health, it is ideal to plan to floss each night before bed. This way, plaque and other types of debris are not lodged between your teeth, doing damage to your dental health, while you sleep. As stated previously, it really does not matter when you floss – it is your preference; however, in order to reap the highest level of benefits, you should opt for flossing immediately before going to bed.
How to Floss
Now that you know the benefits of flossing to your dental health and the ideal time to floss, it is now time to learn the proper way to floss. The following outlines the steps that you should take when performing this task:
- First, you should break off a piece of floss that is approximately 18 inches in length. You should then wind that floss around each of the middle fingers on your hands.
- Once the floss is in place, you should then hold it very tightly using the forefingers and the thumbs of your hands.
- Next, you should guide the floss through the sections between the teeth. The motion should be gentle.
- Once you move the floss up towards the gum line. You should be very careful. You should move the floss in such a way that it is in the shape of a “C” against one of the teeth. Once in this shape, you should slide the floss in the small upper area between the tooth and the gum.
- Now, you should hold the floss string up against the teeth and move it up and down. You should continue to do this for each of your teeth.