Flossing is the act of cleaning your teeth by sliding a small, thin piece of dental floss between your teeth in order to remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth and from under your gums
Flossing is a crucial step in maintaining healthy teeth and gums and preventing tooth decay. The bristles of a toothbrush are too big to reach some smaller spaces in between teeth. When food and plaque get left behind in these spaces, it can cause tooth decay and gum disease. To avoid these issues, it’s important to floss every day and at least once a day.
Why Do We Need To Floss?
While brushing your teeth is important, brushing alone can’t fully remove all of the sugar and bacteria from your teeth. Flossing is the only way to fully get rid of plaque between your teeth and underneath your gum line.
How Often Should You floss?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer. If you have healthy gums and teeth, you should floss at least once a day. Flossing is the most effective when done after you eat. When you eat, food becomes trapped in your teeth, and bacteria can build up. Food particles are not easily removed by brushing alone, so the plaque that results from eating will need to be removed with flossing.
How To Floss?
To clean between your teeth, we recommend using a floss threader or floss pick. Insert the floss threader or floss pick between your two teeth, and slide it up and down. Repeat this motion for each tooth. To clean between all of your teeth, we recommend using an interdental brush. Insert the brush in between your teeth, and move it up and down. Repeat this motion for each tooth.
If you are using a string flosser, use about 18 inches of dental floss. Wind most of the floss around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty. Slide the floss between each set of teeth, using a clean section of floss each time. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.
What Happens If You Don’t Floss?
Plaque that is not removed through daily brushing and flossing can harden into tartar. Once tartar forms, only a professional teeth cleaning can remove the buildup. When tartar accumulates, it starts pushing the gum line downward. This makes it more difficult to brush and floss, leading to cavities or causing the gum tissue to recede. This can make your teeth look longer and can cause sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.
To learn more about the procedures offered at Short & Vlosich Family Dental, call us at (806) 374-8011 or visit our dental office located at 3503 S Soncy Rd, Amarillo, TX 79119.