For many of us, flossing is still thought of as being something of an optional extra.
Even when we know we should be doing it, actually getting into the routine of remembering to floss each day is difficult.
Since it’s hard to see the implications of not flossing in the short term, it’s often easy to think of it as being somehow less important to your overall dental health and hygiene.
In reality, though, that assumption could not be further from the truth.
In an article by Alla Wheeler, an associate professor of the Dental Hygiene Program at the New York University School of Dentistry, she says that “Each tooth has five surfaces. If you don’t floss, you are leaving at least two of the surfaces unclean”.
That’s why flossing is so important for your dental health. It is the only way to clean 2 out of the 5 surfaces of every tooth you have.
Since those 2 surfaces are the ones you don’t see, it’s difficult to comprehend the level of bacteria and decay that can build up on them during a prolonged period without flossing. And since out of sight is all too often out of mind, flossing seems somehow less important.
Every day here at Rocky Ridge Dental we see patients in our dental clinic who have neglected to floss, and each time our advice is always the same.
Floss every day for better long-term dental health and hygiene.
How To Floss
The Canadian Dental Association website has a great step by step guide to flossing that we highly recommend reading through.
The first few times you start to floss, it can be difficult to get in-between all of your teeth – particularly the ones further back.
If you are struggling to reach some of your teeth, dental floss picks like these from Oral B can be a great solution. Putting the dental floss on the end of an extended toothpick like this helps you to reach into those difficult to access areas and can make flossing your teeth a lot easier.
Another great tip to keep in mind when flossing is to make sure you break off a long enough piece of floss. At Rocky Ridge Dental, we find that most patients’ frustrations with flossing come from not being able to get a good enough grip on the floss. To avoid this problem, make sure that the piece of floss you are using is long enough that you can wrap it around your fingers several times. This will help to prevent you from losing grip on it and make flossing your teeth significantly easier.
Take additional care as the floss works its way down the tooth. Remember, you are flossing the tooth, not the gum. Gums are sensitive and taking the floss into the gumline can cut into them easily and occasionally cause bleeding and inflammation.
Flossing Regularly Improves Your Long-Term Dental Health
Taking the time to floss at least once per day consistently will improve your long-term dental health and hygiene.
If you have any questions or concerns about flossing, contact your dentist or make an appointment to visit one of our Calgary Dentists today.