Why Flossing is Essential for Your Dental Health

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Why Is Flossing Essential for Dental Health?

For several decades now, brushing and flossing your teeth have gone hand-in-hand to improve dental health. Flossing is essential because your toothbrush can’t get to the food particles that get stuck between your teeth. This can be very problematic because food may sit in the same spot for days or even weeks before being dislodged.

What Happens If You Don’t Floss Regularly?

The truth is that many people don’t floss on a regular basis. What happens is that food particles begin to rot inside the gaps of your teeth. After a while, this may cause dental issues like tooth decay and gum disease. If you get a cavity and take too long to get it filled, it can get a lot worse and require a root canal or even lead to tooth loss.

How to Floss Your Teeth the Right Way

Sadly, many people don’t know how to properly floss their teeth. While it may seem like a simple task, not doing it the right way may cause some food particles to be left behind.

Here are the steps you should follow:

Get the Floss Ready

The first thing you’ll need to do is get the dental floss ready. We recommend taking out approximately 18 inches of floss, which will give you enough to work with. Wrap it around your thumbs and index fingers to get a tight enough grip. Just make sure not to make it too tight because you could cut off your circulation.

Position the Floss

Next, position the floss between your teeth. Your goal is to reach the area where your teeth meet your gum line. This is a spot that you can’t properly clean with your toothbrush. What you’ll end up doing is basically forming a C shape with the floss so that you can get all of the food particles out.

Go Up and Down

Now it’s time to do the actual work. Rub the floss up and down a few times on either side of the gum area. You’ll repeat this motion to remove plaque and food particles from every single tooth.

It’s highly recommended that you use a new, clean section of floss each time. This is why you need the floss to be approximately 18 inches long.

Use Gentle Motions

It’s important that you don’t use harsh or aggressive motions because this could cause your gums to bleed. That being said, even gentle movements may cause bleeding if you don’t floss often enough. If you start flossing on a regular basis, it’ll take a week or two before the bleeding stops.

Ask a Dentist for Help

For whatever reason, some people have a hard time learning how to floss without a visual aid. The best way to learn the proper technique is to ask a dentist to watch you floss, at which point they can give you some pointers. Of course, you can also turn to places like YouTube, where you can find plenty of instructional videos.

Other Techniques to Maintain Dental Health

In addition to flossing, there are several other techniques that will help maintain your oral health. Here are the most common dental care strategies that you can use:

  • Brush Twice a Day — In addition to flossing, you obviously want to brush twice a day. This will help remove food particles from your teeth and reduce your chances of suffering from cavities and other oral hygiene issues.
  • Use Mouthwash — Using mouthwash every day will help keep your teeth clean. Look for a fluoride mouthwash to get the greatest effect.
  • Dental Cleanings — We can’t overemphasize the importance of regular dental cleanings. To keep your teeth as clean as possible, you should schedule a professional cleaning every six months.
  • Dental Visits — In addition to regular cleanings, you also need to schedule a dental visit twice per year. The dentist will evaluate your teeth and provide you with an action plan if any fillings, root canals, or other dental procedures are needed.

Contact Dr. Ferullo to Learn How to Floss Your Teeth

Dr. Ferullo can teach you how to floss your teeth and give you plenty of other dental care advice. If you have any questions about dental techniques or would like to set up an appointment at our St. Petersburg dentist office, call us at (727) 822-8101 today.

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