If you’re like most of us, you’re probably not flossing correctly, or enough. Here’s a helpful article that will put you on the right track toward maintaining a healthy, attractive mouth, and better breath to boot!
Let’s get real. About flossing.
Are you truly honest to yourself, and your dentist, about how often you floss? Possibly not. A Harris poll was conducted in March 2015 on behalf of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) among more than 2,000 American adults. The results? Over a quarter of respondents admitted to actually fibbing to their dentists about flossing habits. What is more, 36 percent said they would rather do something unpleasant, like cleaning the toilet (14 percent!), than they would flossing daily.
It’s totally understandable. As we approach that bathroom sink for the final time before bed, the last thing we want to do is run a flimsy piece of string through each and every space between our teeth. Too much bother!
But the fact remains, by not flossing, you are leaving countless bacteria in your mouth free to do what they do best – forming plaque and causing gum disease. And that’s not good for your smile or your overall health.
One of the impediments to regular flossing is not knowing the right way to do it. Here’s a step-by-step guide from the American Dental Association on how to properly floss your teeth:..
Step One: Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty, sort of like a reel-to-reel tape machine!.
Step Two: Hold tight! Grip floss between your thumbs and forefingers.
Step Three: Run the floss back and forth between teeth with a gentle rubbing motion. Warning! Don’t snap the floss into the gums.
Step Four: When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Carefully slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.
Step Five: Now hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget the back sides of your last tooth!
Step Six: Almost done! Here’s the easy part. Throw away the piece of floss. We think you know that.
Still confused? Here’s a video.
Be sure to ask your dental practitioner for a live demonstration at your next visit! If you’ve got braces or retainers, you’ll probably need some coaching on proper methods.
Flossing is a great way to keep your teeth and gums healthy, and avoiding the pain, unsightliness and expense of gum disease and tooth decay. Do it today, and every day!