Flossing, the dreaded extra step it takes for better oral hygiene. While it’s just as important as brushing only one-third of Americans do it daily. It seems more like a chore than brushing but it is actually quite simple and reaches the 40% of tooth surface area your toothbrush can’t. So why does it seem so much harder to follow a flossing routine than a brushing routine? It can be a hassle adding an extra step in your daily to-do list, but the benefits of flossing are tremendous and there are several ways it can be made even easier.
So why should you care about flossing and what’s the best and easiest way to clean those chompers?
Why You Should Care About Flossing
Good oral hygiene prevents periodontal disease and periodontal disease can lead to a myriad of other health issues such as heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.
On average one in eight adults in the U.S. suffer from some form of gum disease. Follow up on these flossing practices to make sure you’re not the one in eight.
Flossing Best Practices
It is best to practice flossing at least once a day, preferably before night to remove any food or particles that have become lodged in between the teeth or gums.
How to Floss Properly
- Take 18 to 24 inches of floss, wind most of the floss around two fingers, leave yourself an inch or two to work with
- Hold the floss tight between your thumbs and index fingers, and slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth
- Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gum line.
- Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth
Not Sure Which Floss is Best for You?
- Unwaxed floss is thin nylon floss that’s great for getting into tight spaces but can be prone to breaking.
- Waxed floss is a standard nylon floss with a light wax coating. It’s less likely to break but harder to use in smaller spaces than unwaxed floss.
- Dental tape is broader and flatter than standard floss and comes in waxed or unwaxed versions. This can be more comfortable for teeth with wider spaces between them.
- Polytetrafluorethylene floss (PTFE) is the same material used in high-tech Gore-Tex fabric. The material slides between the teeth easily and is less likely to shred compared to standard floss.
- Super flosses are made from yarn-like material that has stiffer sections on each end that can be used to clean around braces or dental bridges.
It only takes a few moments to leave a lasting impression on your health. Remember, floss at least once a day, before bedtime.