Brushing your teeth removes food particles and plaque from the teeth and along the gum line. However, brushing only cleans the fronts and tops of the teeth. It can also miss parts of the teeth that are hard to reach and also misses the spaces in between the teeth where food and bacteria can hide. When bacteria and food are left in these spaces for long periods of time, they can become trapped and lead to serious oral health issues, including gum disease. This is why daily flossing is recommended to remove these hidden pieces of food and bacteria from between the teeth. It can also help to prevent cavities and bad breath.
What Are the Steps of Flossing?
The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time and flossing once a day before going to bed. Brushing and flossing help to remove plaque, a sticky film that forms on teeth, before it can cause tooth decay or gum disease. Plaque contains bacteria that can lead to cavities and periodontal disease if not removed through proper hygiene. Here are steps you can take when flossing:
- Take about 18 inches of floss and wrap it around your fingers in a C shape or a square shape in order to make it easier to reach between your teeth.
- Gently slide the floss between each set of teeth before curving it against the surface of the tooth to scrape away any plaque and food debris.
- After you’ve cleaned each tooth, rinse your mouth with water and then re-floss your back molars to remove any lingering food particles as well.
- After you’re done flossing, brush your teeth with toothpaste once more to polish and clean the surfaces of your teeth for an extra good clean.
Without flossing, you miss about 40 percent of the surfaces of your teeth, creating the perfect environment for plaque buildup and cavities. Plus, when food particles get stuck between your teeth, your saliva has no chance to break down the food and wash it away, which puts you at risk for bad breath, gum disease, and even heart disease.
So what should you look for in your new flossing tool to ensure you get the most out of your daily oral hygiene routine? Pick a toothbrush that appeals to your personality, but make sure it’s one you feel comfortable using. It should also fit comfortably in your hand, have soft bristles, and be the right size to reach all surfaces of your teeth. Consider using waxed floss if you have braces or other orthodontic work to remove food particles and bacteria from tight spaces. And be sure to use a new section of floss for every surface of your mouth, so you aren’t spreading more bacteria from one area to another.
To learn more about our dental services or schedule a consultation, call Dentist in Woodstock, GA at (470) 601-7888 or visit Park Creek Dental Care at 8080 Hickory Flat Hwy, Woodstock, GA 30188.