Flossing can benefit your whole mouth and help save your money. You should be flossing, but not only for the reasons you think. Flossing is that activity your dentist asks you about near the start of every visit, usually while your mouth is open and he or she is beginning to poke and scrape your teeth. If you are many people, the answer to the question, “Have you been flossing regularly” is not less than a confident “Yes!”
Brushing is relatively easy, quick, and self-explanatory. Flossing, on the other hand, seemed to take more time and many people are less confident they are doing it correctly. The benefits of flossing don’t seem to match the time and energy it takes to do it regularly.
We ask, is flossing worth it? Yes! Flossing is worth it! Here’s why.
The Benefits of Flossing
- Flossing Saves You Money. The tools of flossing are inexpensive (more on this soon) and easy to find at any grocery store or pharmacy. But the dental procedures necessary to remedy the effects of not flossing can be very costly. Gum disease, tartar build-up, cavities, and more can easily be prevented with flossing once a day.
- Healthy Teeth = Healthy Body. We tend to separate our oral health from our general health. But the bacteria that thrives in an unhealthy mouth can be harmful to the rest of your body and has been connected with heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory illness.
- Confident Smile and Clean Breath. This one might be obvious, but is still a good reminder. When you clean the insides of your teeth (the spaces your toothbrush doesn’t reach), you remove the bacteria that feeds on leftover food. The same bacteria that can cause bad breath and plaque buildup. Gum can only do so much to give you fresh, clean breath. Kill the culprit at the source by flossing regular and properly.
Choosing the Right Kind of Floss
You can choose a different style of floss depending on the health of your gums, the position of your teeth, or your personal preference. The best person to ask about what kind you should use is your dentist. They will know which floss will work best to remove food as well as which floss will protect your gums.
You can choose a traditional floss, pre-threaded flosser, or a wooden plaque remover. With traditional floss, you can also choose waxed, unwaxed, and various degrees of thickness. Again, ask your dentist which type will be the most effective and how to use that type properly.
How To Floss Properly
You cannot experience the benefits of flossing if you never floss. So, the first step to starting flossing is to start flossing! Make flossing a habit, giving yourself time to do it everyday. You only to floss once per day and it is not important when.
The following instructions are for traditional floss.
- Take 18 inches from the roll of floss. Wrap most of the length around one of your middle fingers. Wrap the remaining floss around your other middle finger; this finger will take up the floss as you floss and it is covered with food particles.
- Hold the floss between your thumbs and forefingers.
- Glide the floss smoothly between your teeth. Do not snap the floss, which could damage your gums.
- When the floss reaches your gums, press it against the side of one your teeth. Holding the floss tightly against the tooth, work the floss up and down.
- Repeat this for each tooth, rinsing periodically.