Are You Flossing Wrong?

Are You Flossing Wrong?

If you’d like your pearly whites to stay healthy as long as possible, it’s time to improve how you floss. After you eat, debris between your teeth forms a film of bacteria called plaque, which you can’t get rid of with a toothbrush. 

Crucial as flossing may be, research shows that less than one-third of adults in the United States floss daily. And among those who do, problematic mistakes are common.

Nataly Vilderman, DDS, and her team can guide you toward improved flossing techniques during your routine dental cleanings. In the meantime, read on for helpful hints plus errors to avoid.

Why flossing well matters

Flossing properly removes harmful plaque between your teeth and around your gums. That is important, given that plaque buildup commonly leads to cavities and gum disease. 

Nearly half of adults have a form of gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and flossing well is a crucial way to lower your risk. As a result, you’ll have a lower risk of related complications, such as receding gums, tooth loss, and infections that require a root canal.

Common flossing mistakes to avoid

Before we get to the best practices to adopt and maintain, here are several common flossing mistakes to avoid:

Proper flossing technique

Dipping floss between your teeth as quickly as possible won’t cut it when it comes to making the most of your flossing habits. To floss properly, hold 1-2 inches of floss from a roughly 18-inch piece tightly between two fingers. Then, using one of your index fingers, guide the floss between your teeth. Create a C-shape by curving the floss along the side of each tooth and slightly below the gum line.

Use a new portion of the floss for each tooth. If you use flossers, rinse the flosser in water or mouthwash after each tooth to prevent the transfer of bacteria to the next one. 

If you find yourself skipping flossing at the end of the day because you’re tired and eager to turn in, consider flossing in the morning or even shortly after dinner and before you wind down for the night.

Learn more about flossing and other ways to care for your teeth and gums by calling our office or scheduling an appointment with Dr. Vilderman through our website.

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