How Often Should I Be Flossing?

February 18, 2016

A large majority of Americans brush their teeth twice daily. However, only about half of those people floss their teeth daily, and 20% of flossingAmerican adults do not floss at all. Flossing, like brushing, is crucial to your oral health, which affects your general health. With help from your Kennesaw, Woodstock and Marietta, GA dentist, you can get the facts on flossing and incorporate this important step into your daily oral hygiene routine.

How often should I be flossing? 
Kennesaw, Woodstock and Marietta dentists recommend flossing at least once a day. Toothbrushes only reach so far into your teeth’s small, hard-to-reach areas. Flossing allows you to clean between the teeth and under the gums to remove food particles and bacteria left behind after the everyday use of your teeth.

What happens if I skip flossing? 
Bacteria are found in everyone’s mouth. If left to build up, this bacteria turns to sticky plaque which clings to the teeth. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar. Flossing removes bacteria and plaque and prevents them from forming tartar, which flossing cannot remove. Plaque and tartar cause gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath and breakdown of the enamel of your teeth. Gum disease and tooth decay cause much bigger problems, and can eventually result in tooth loss.

What is the proper way to floss? 
It is helpful to floss your teeth in quadrants to ensure you do not miss any areas or spread bacteria. Start with one quarter, either upper/lower left or upper/lower right, and move around the mouth, using a new length of floss with each quadrant. Wrap the ends of the floss around one finger of each hand, pulling it taut. Floss each tooth using an up and down motion, being sure to come high enough up the tooth to grab any plaque or food particles under the gum. Additionally, be sure to floss the front and back of each tooth, again making sure to come up far enough to reach under the gum.

For more information on great oral hygiene and flossing, please contact your dentist at 1st Choice Dental Care in Kennesaw, Woodstock and Marietta, GA. Call (678) 293-8773 to schedule your regular dental examination and cleaning today!