man smiles as he flosses his teeth

What’s the Point of Dental Floss?

September 21, 2022 3:56 pm

Many people brush their teeth twice a day but forget about flossing! For good oral health, flossing is just as important as brushing. Why?

Why Flossing Matters

If you don’t floss well, your risk for gum disease and tooth loss increases significantly. While brushing removes sticky plaque from the surface of your teeth, the bristles can’t clean the tight spaces between your teeth. That’s where flossing comes in. The thin string fits between your teeth, reaching the plaque and other debris stuck to your teeth and along your gum line. If you don’t floss consistently, the plaque builds up and hardens to tartar, which makes you more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease.

How to Floss Properly

Most people only need to floss once a day. Before flossing, make sure your hands are clean. Break off an 18-inch length of floss and wind the two ends around your middle fingers. As you use the floss, you’ll wind the used length around one of your middle fingers, so you aren’t accidentally spreading bacteria around your mouth. Hold the floss between your thumbs and forefingers and begin flossing. Be gentle; you don’t need to saw the string against your gums. Make sure to floss right against each side of a tooth. Don’t forget your back teeth!

What’s the Best Kind of Floss?

There are a handful of floss options to choose from. Many people prefer waxed floss because it’s stronger. Unwaxed floss, however, is usually thinner, so it may be easier to use, especially if your teeth have very tight spaces. There are also dental picks and water flossers. If you aren’t sure what to choose, don’t hesitate to ask us for advice!

Maintain Great Oral Hygiene at Southwest Dental Care in Jefferson City, MO

If you want healthy teeth, flossing isn’t optional. It removes plaque that brushing can’t reach and protects you from dental issues like gum disease. At every cleaning at our office, we’ll floss your teeth and check the health of your gums. If we see signs of gum disease, you may only need to improve your hygiene at home. For many people, this means improving their flossing habits! If you have questions or want to schedule an appointment with Dr. Orme, please contact us today.

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