Are You Following the Proper Way to Floss Teeth?

Get The Most Out of Your Flossing Routine

Flossing seems easy enough, right? Simply cut off a piece of string and maneuver it in your mouth to get rid of lingering bacteria that gets lodged in between your teeth. While this is true, flossing is much more important than most people realize!

Flossing should not be an occasional thing. In fact, most dental care professionals suggest flossing after every meal. However, this may not be possible or ideal for everyone, so dentists recommend flossing at least once a day to ensure no damaging bacteria from the day stays in your mouth overnight.

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Mastering a Flossing Technique

Flossing is an uncomplicated task that can be completed in around a minute after you get comfortable with it. All you will need is some quality floss and a set of hands. Dr. Acosta advises patients, to begin with around 18 inches of floss wrapped securely around your fingers. Begin on the upper right portion of your mouth, inserting the floss carefully between each tooth individually. Work your way towards the upper left, then the lower left, and finish in the lower right area of your mouth.

Once you have the technique down, you will want to find your ideal floss. Like toothbrushes, there are a variety of types, brands, flavors, and colors available. While these are all more or less equally effective, some options may be more suitable or appealing for you. Here are some of the most common types of floss you’ll find in the dental health section at your local drug store.

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Types of Floss

  • Waxed or unwaxed. This is pretty self-explanatory. The former comes with a wax coating on the floss, which can help the string slide between your teeth easier. Some patients find they are more durable, also. Patients who don’t like the feel or taste of waxed floss can opt for it without the wax coating.
  • Flavored or unflavored. Like toothpaste, you can find floss in a variety of flavors. The most common are mint or winter fresh flavors, but options like cinnamon or bubble gum are also available.
  • Ribbon/tape or fine. Ribbon or tape floss is simply a bit wider or thicker than traditional fine floss. In many cases, this is a more efficient option, as it can cover more surface area and thus does a more thorough job of removing bacteria. However, some patients may find wider floss is harder to insert between the teeth.

As long as you are using the floss correctly, you should opt for what you feel most at ease with. If you find that you are uncomfortable with holding the string or manipulating it to slide between your teeth, Dr. Acosta recommends floss picks as an effective alternative. These pre-threaded disposable floss-holsters also come in a variety of shape, sizes, colors, and flavors to suit your desires.

Why Is Flossing Necessary?

It’s not uncommon for patients to be curious or question if flossing is really necessary. The answer is simple: yes! Flossing is extremely important and absolutely necessary if you wish to maintain a clean and healthy mouth. Dental floss helps to dislodge bacteria, plaque, and leftover food particles that have accumulated in the mouth, specifically in the hard-to-reach places between your teeth. Ideally, you should floss after every meal or twice a day. However, if you are a once-a-day flosser, it is recommended that you flossing at the end of the day to ensure you get all that nasty debris out before heading to bed.

Like brushing, flossing is instrumental in upholding a clean, bacteria-free mouth. As you may already know, excessive bacteria in the mouth can lead to damaging gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. When left untreated, this can lead to cavities, tooth decay, or bad breath. Some studies suggest it can even put you at risk for developing more serious diseases like heart disease.

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Efficient and Affordable Healthcare

Want to keep your pearly whites white? Acosta Dental Arts offers a variety of cosmetic dentistry procedures, including teeth cleaning, teeth whitening, and more! Call our Palm Beach office at 561-622-0301 to schedule your Free Smile Assessment!

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