Closeup of a woman using string floss to floss between her teeth

Why Should I Floss?

May 28, 2020 2:55 pm

You’ve probably heard that daily flossing is imperative. But why? Consistent flossing is a key component of your daily oral hygiene routine because it helps to remove the plaque and food particles that cause bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay. Flossing reaches the tight spots between your teeth and gums that your toothbrush can’t access. These areas harbor cavity-causing food particles and plaque.

If you’re not a regular flosser, flossing might cause some pain, temporary swelling, and bleeding in your gums. But once you incorporate it into your day-to-day oral hygiene, you’ll find that it becomes second nature and your gums will get used to it too.

How Long Should Flossing Take?

If you aren’t flossing thoroughly, you might not be helping your mouth as much as you think you are. Whether you use string floss or a water flosser, take your time to get a good floss in order to achieve maximum benefits. With 28 teeth, you should be spending at least as much time as you do brushing, if not more. So expect to spend at least two to three minutes each day flossing.

For string flossing, use a new piece of floss at least 18 inches long each time. Lightly wrap the majority of it around one of your middle fingers and wrap the rest around your other middle finger. Holding the floss between your thumbs and index fingers, gently push the floss between a pair of teeth. Gently rub it against each tooth in a C-shape and slide it between the tooth and gums. Repeat against every tooth, then dispose of the floss.

A blue and white water flosser on a bathroom counter against a blue mosaic backsplash

To use a water flosser, first fill the reservoir with warm water and place it firmly on the base. Click your chosen tip into the handle. For first-time use, set the pressure control to high, point the tip into the sink, turn on until water flows, then turn it off. Then change the pressure control to the lowest setting. Lean over the sink. Aiming the tip along your gumline with your lips partially closed, turn the unit on to allow the water to flow. Start at the back of your mouth and work toward the front. Pause between each tooth as you floss the front and back of your teeth. When you become more comfortable with the unit, try increasing the pressure.

Questions About Flossing Products?

If your child needs help improving their flossing technique or if your family needs product recommendations, contact our team today at Tots to Teens Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics in San Antonio, TX.

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