Flossing is one of the most important ways to take care of your teeth. We could all be flossing more frequently and more effectively, even dentists! When you floss your teeth, you are removing plaque and bacteria that your toothbrush cannot possibly reach. That is why one of the first questions you will always hear at the dental office is “how often are you flossing”? In this article, we want to discuss why you should floss, how often should you floss, when to floss, and the proper flossing technique. That said, nothing beats an in person cleaning with a dentist where they can provide advice and feedback.
Why Should You Floss Your Teeth?
Flossing your teeth is one of the most overlooked dental habits. Many people wrongly assume that brushing is more important or more necessary than flossing. While brushing can remove the plaque on the front, top, and back of a tooth, it cannot reach in between teeth. Without flossing, decay can form between your teeth which makes it easy for cavities to form and be visually hidden from you. Flossing daily is the only way to make sure that your oral habits are fully protecting every part of your teeth and gums.
When Should You Floss Your Teeth?
It is recommended that you floss at least once per day. If you are flossing exactly once per day, it is recommended you do it before bed. Sleeping is a period of time that can lead to the most issues for your mouth. Any food, bacteria, or or plaque on and around your teeth can eat away at your teeth while you sleep. In fact, morning breath actually comes from how bacteria can grow while we sleep. Brushing and flossing before bed is the best way to protect your teeth and gums while you are sleeping. After you brush and floss at night you shouldn’t eat anything or drink anything other than water to ensure no new sugars or bacteria enter your mouth.
How Should You Floss Your Teeth?
While flossing frequency is the thing we talk about the most, it is also important to floss correctly. One common practice for brushing and flossing is to go too hard and damage your gums. Some people get it in their heads that brushing or flossing hard is necessary for taking care of their teeth. Not only is this not true, but it can also damage your teeth as well. When you floss, you want to slip the floss between two teeth and clean both sides. Don’t just push the floss down and immediately pull back up. Bring the floss against one tooth and gently slide it up and down, and then bring the floss against the other tooth and do the same. This makes sure that both teeth are clean. Many people also rinse their mouths out with water when they are done.
Contact Us For Dental Services in Lewiston
If you live in the Lewiston Maine area and need to see a dentist, please give us a call. We can discuss exams, cleanings, x-rays and a variety of dental issues including emergencies and restorative dentistry.