Flossing is one of the essential steps of a successful dental care routine. If you’ve ever visited Covington Dentistry, you’ve probably had a hygienist floss your teeth and discuss with you the importance of doing so at home. We know we say it a lot—and that flossing correctly may take a little extra time—but the benefits are well worth the effort. At Covington Family Dentistry, we’re proud to educate the Covington, Oxford and Conyers communities on the importance of oral health, starting with flossing!

Best Practices

Believe it or not, there is a “right” way to floss your teeth. While it is a simple process, flossing correctly is key to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

Timing

It’s recommended that you floss once a day. It doesn’t matter when you floss, but you may want to consider adding it to your nighttime routine. Floss BEFORE you brush to loosen plaque and other food debris from hard-to-reach places. Then, your toothbrush will better be able to clean bacteria from your mouth.

Method

Using about 12 inches of floss, hold the thread at either end and firmly but comfortably move up and down between each tooth. Be sure to get either side of your gums and don’t forget your back teeth. Use a new section of floss for each tooth.

Type of Floss

Waxed and unwaxed floss are both effective in cleaning your teeth, but waxed floss is easier to use and less likely to break. As for the thickness of your floss, always opt for wider floss. This covers more of your gums and is more comfortable for your hands and mouth. Floss picks are a good option for hard-to-reach areas and for when you’re on the go. And for our braces-wearers, there are options out there specifically made to help you move around dental hardware.

What NOT to Do

The only thing you should use to clean between your teeth is dentist-approved floss. Even toothpicks are not recommended for everyday use as they can wear on enamel and scratch your gums. Do not floss with household items, fingernails or strands of hair. Your gums could become irritated and then infected by using unsanitary methods of cleaning.

Why is Flossing Important?

Tooth decay is what leads to cavities. Plaque is what leads to tooth decay. When you floss, you’re clearing your gums of plaque-causing bacteria and making space for your toothbrush to thoroughly clean your mouth. Flossing breaks up food debris and plaque between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach, so it’s an essential piece of your dental health routine. In fact, a buildup of plaque in the mouth has scientific correlation to plaque buildup around the heart. Just a few quick minutes of flossing each day promotes dental health as well as overall health for you and your family.

Contact Covington Center for Family Dentistry Today

More questions about flossing? We’ve got you covered! At Covington Dentistry, we’re committed to meeting each of our patients wherever they are in their dental health journey. Our experienced team will teach you and your family how to floss correctly so that you can enjoy healthy teeth and gums for years to come. Getting started with us is simple! Give our Covington dental office a call or fill out our online contact form today.