In addition to brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day should be part of your oral hygiene routine. Your toothbrush cannot effectively clean between your teeth. Flossing helps remove plaque, a sticky film that contains bacteria. Plaque thrives on lingering sugar and food debris in your mouth. Daily flossing also helps prevent cavities and gum disease. Follow these tips to amp up your flossing game and keep your mouth healthy.
Floss at a time that works for your schedule.
If you are in a rush, you will likely skip over some of your teeth or skip flossing altogether. Floss earlier in the evening if you are overly tired at night just before brushing your teeth and crawling into bed. If you are more alert and attentive in the morning, that time might be a better option. For others, flossing after lunch is the perfect time. Any time of the day is better for flossing than no flossing at all!
Avoid aggressive flossing.
Rub floss gently up and down each tooth, hugging the side of each tooth with the floss. Snapping floss forcefully between teeth can actually injure your gum tissue and cause the gums to recede.
Don’t neglect those back teeth.
The molars in the back of your mouth, used for chewing, are harder to reach with floss. However, those teeth are just as important to floss as the ones in the front of your mouth.
Find the right interdental cleaner.
Dental floss is the most commonly used interdental cleaner, but there are others on the market, including cone-shaped brushes, soft wooden sticks and rubber cones. If you have a fixed dental appliance, such as braces or a bridge, flossing can be tricky. Instead of conventional dental floss, try using Super Floss or floss threaders to get under the wire and keep your teeth and gums healthy. A pre-threaded flosser is a handy tool for children, as well as individuals lacking dexterity in their hands.