You’ve heard it once and you’ll hear it again: flossing is a vital part of your home dental health routine. But why is it so important? If you brush thoroughly it can be easy to assume that flossing is really unnecessary. In reality, flossing is essential for preventing tooth decay and gum disease.
What Does Flossing Do?
If you are diligent in your brushing, you are doing a lot to reduce your chances of tooth and gum disease. However, a brush just can’t reach the sides of your teeth the way floss can. Believe it or not, the sides of your teeth can become a major source of decay if not properly cleaned. Flossing is really the only way to get into these tight nooks and crannies and fully clean your mouth.
How to Floss
Flossing may seem self-evident, but are you sure you’re doing it properly? One of the most common mistakes people make is sawing back and forth against their gums. This can cause bleeding even in healthy gums by cutting into the soft tissue. To correctly floss your teeth, hold a short length firmly between your fingers. Run the floss up and down the edges of each tooth, making sure to be gentle with your gums. It is important to floss in between your molars too, even though they can be hard to reach.
Choosing a Floss
Did you know there are different kinds of floss? In fact, there is a lot of variety when it comes to flossing. The major factor you should look for when making your choice is thickness. Thickness is by far the most important. To properly choose a floss, think about your teeth: are they crowded close together? Do they have large gaps? If your teeth are very tight, thin floss will be the most comfortable. If your teeth are widely set, a thick floss will be more effective. For people with gaps between their teeth, the dental tape may be the best choice. Despite how it sounds, dental tape isn’t sticky – it’s just a very wide floss great for cleaning out gaps.
Schedule an Appointment
Do you have doubts that you are flossing correctly or questions about choosing the best option? Ask Drs. Joseph Cheung or Robert Gauthier at Sudbury Dental Arts in Sudbury, MA for help in maximizing your home healthcare regimen. To schedule an appointment, contact us on our website or at (978) 218-2580.