Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Why There Is So Much Emphasis on Flossing

Good dental health can be described as having a mouth that looks and smells healthy, is full of clean and bright teeth that are anchored in solid bone. The gums should be pink and don't bleed at the slightest touch, and people don't raise a curious eyebrow while they stare at something in your teeth.

Brushing can do a lot to help you reach this level of dental health, but that alone isn't enough.

Flossing has to be an integral part of your daily oral hygiene routine to ensure that you are preventing problems and maintaining a healthier smile.

Flossing is Easy to Forget

We all lead busy lives, and when you're rushing out the door, or you're having guests over, or you're trying to catch up on work, it's easy to let the "little things" slide. Sometimes it's just a lot easier to shower, brush your teeth and head out the door.

Flossing may not be "fun," but if you do group this as one of the "little things" and forget about it, it can have just as much negative impact on your oral health as forgetting to brush.

Flossing the Right Way

Dental care professionals may talk a lot about flossing and why it's important to do every day, but, just like brushing, you can't get away with a half-hearted effort.

It's important to use the right technique to make sure you're cleaning out as much plaque as possible.

There's no big secret to this technique. It's the same thing you've been told for years. But just to make sure everyone is on the same page about this, here's a quick rundown of the most effective and efficient flossing technique.

1. Use about 18 to 24 inches of floss.

2. Wrap most of the floss around one of your middle fingers, and then a little more of the other end around the other middle finger.

3. Leave an inch or two for the actual flossing.

4. While holding the floss tightly between thumbs and forefingers of both hands, use a gentle rubbing motion to guide the floss between your teeth.

5. Push the floss down to your gums, and a little below the gum line, and curve the floss into a C shape.

6. Gently rub the side of the tooth with up and down motions, moving the floss up and away from the gums.

7. Don't force the floss because it may bruise your gums or cause them to bleed.

8. Floss every tooth, from the front to the back.

Should You Brush or Floss First?

A lot of people ask that question, worried that one may be more effective than the other. They may wonder if it's best to floss in the morning before the day gets started, or wait until the end of the day and make sure that they clean out any food particles that may have been lodged there throughout the day.

The best answer, though, is that as long as you're flossing, it doesn't really matter if you do it before or after you floss. Or if you choose to floss in the morning or in the evening.

(Of course, some may tell you that if you're questioning whether to floss in the morning or at night, you should just do both.)

Flossing once a day (at least) is a critical part of your overall dental hygiene. Don't put it off and don't let good habits slide. Your teeth will thank you for it.

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