October is National Dental Hygiene Month. Two things important to good dental hygiene is brushing and flossing. Today’s blog will focus on flossing.
We all know how important brushing your teeth twice a day is, but do you give as much thought to flossing? Brushing cleans the teeth on three sides, but it is equally important to get between the teeth where it is difficult to reach.
According to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, daily flossing should be part of our daily dental hygiene routine.
Daily flossing removes plaque and food particles that cannot be reached by a toothbrush, particularly under the gum line and between teeth. Failure to do so can allow for plaque buildup in these areas – which in turn can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Getting into the routine of daily flossing can be a challenge. Making flossing easier can improve compliance with recommendations for daily flossing. If you resist flossing, try to determine why and tell your dental hygienist. Knowing the precise reason you are not flossing will enable them to recommend floss with the right thickness, coating or filaments so you might be encouraged to floss more often.
If you are unsure how to floss here are some tips from toothwisdom.org:
Floss once per day before or after brushing.
- Use about 18 inches of dental floss wrapped around one of your middle fingers, with the other end wrapped around the opposite middle finger.
- Hold the dental floss tightly between the thumbs and pointer finger and gently insert it between the teeth.
- Curve the dental floss against the side of the tooth in a ‘C’ shape.
- Wipe the floss up and down against the tooth.
- Repeat on the next tooth with a fresh section of the floss until the whole mouth is complete.
Good habits only happen with repeated use. Remember to brush 2 times a day for 2 minutes and floss daily for good dental hygiene.