Are You Flossing Properly?

You know you should brush your teeth twice a day, once when you wake up and again before going to bed. However, people often forget to floss their teeth, even though this is actually more important than brushing. If you’re not flossing properly, then you could be setting yourself up for a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Frequently Asked Questions About Flossing

Question: How often do I need to clean my teeth?

Answer: You should floss your teeth at least once a day, preferably before going to bed. Otherwise food remains trapped between teeth, causing a film of plaque to coat the teeth over night and increase the risk of cavities. If you prefer, you can also carry floss tape with you and clean your teeth after each meal.

Question: How does this protect my smile?

Answer: When you clean between your teeth you remove food particles and harmful bacteria, reducing the chances of enamel weakening or gums becoming inflamed. You can then potentially avoid the onset of cavities and gum disease.

Question: Do I still need to have my teeth professionally cleaned?

Answer: Yes. Even if you take perfect care of your teeth at home you need to have your teeth cleaned by a dentist or hygienist once every six months. The cleaning removes tartar buildup that neither brushing nor flossing can address. The procedure also reduces the risk of cavities, gum disease, and halitosis.

Question: What form should I use?

Answer: There are a variety of options, from tape to picks to water flossers. You should talk to your dentist and also take your personal preferences into account. Initially a pick may be easiest, especially if you haven’t been flossing recently. Eventually, you may move on to tape for more thorough cleaning.