Flossing is an essential part of your oral hygiene routine. It is often the activity that gets overlooked when we feel too tired or lazy to do it. However, it's essential because flossing your teeth removes the plaque and bacteria that builds up in between your teeth; and yes - you can actually get cavities in between your teeth. It also removes food particles that may be stuck in between your teeth after meals.
Should I Floss More Than Once Per Day?
You're supposed to brush your teeth twice per day, why shouldn't you floss as often? The answer is because it takes longer for plaque to build up in between your teeth, typically around 24 hours. So if you're flossing once each day, it should be sufficient to remove your plaque buildup. Flossing for your own comfort between meals is fine too if you find that food is getting stuck in between your teeth.
Proper Flossing Technique
To make the most of your flossing routine, it's important to ensure that you're using adequate flossing techniques. If you're not, you could risk irritation or injury to your gums. Here are some basic flossing instructions to keep in mind:
- When you floss, focus on removing plaque from your tooth using a C-shape motion up and down both teeth.
- Be gentle. If you are having a hard time working the floss between your teeth, use a slow sawing motion being careful to avoid coming down too hard on your gum tissue.
- Use new sections of floss for each tooth to avoid spreading bacteria around your mouth.
- Have a strategy. Decide before you start if you are going to start in the back and move to the front, or vice versa. Flossing haphazardly is not as effective and may cause you to miss some areas.
Do You Have Questions?
If you have questions about flossing or other aspects of your oral care routine, Dr. Johnathan Nelson is the top dentist in Missoula that patients trust. Give Nelson Dentistry a call today; we're happy to answer your questions!