Most people are on top of brushing their teeth. Many of us have heard from a very young age how important it is to brush our teeth. But what about flossing? Chances are that you have a container of dental floss somewhere in your bathroom at home, but do you use it? Flossing is an extremely important part of your regular dental routine. If you aren’t flossing, you are allowing plaque and bacteria to build up between your teeth where your brush can’t reach. Because of that, no matter how much you brush you are still at risk for tooth decay and gum disease. With that in mind, let’s dust off that floss in your bathroom drawer or medicine cabinet, and get to work.
First, it really doesn’t matter if you brush or floss first. As long as you do a thorough job of both, you will be fine.
Floss at least once a day, and many people do it just before going to bed. If you wear braces, you should floss after each meal. Start with 18 inches of floss, and wrap most of it around each of your middle fingers. Grasp about two inches between your thumbs and forefingers. Floss your teeth by curving the floss around your tooth. Start below the gumline and then floss away from your gums. Begin with your back teeth, and work your way to the front. You should use a fresh piece for each tooth, otherwise you will just be spreading food debris and bacteria around your mouth. Do not reuse your floss when you are done.
Some people find that waxed or unwaxed nylon floss works well. However, nylon floss can shred when you use it. Monofilament floss is resistant to shredding and glides easily between your teeth. Monofilament floss works well for people who have braces or bridges.
If you have trouble using regular floss, or if you have difficulty flossing around your dental work, you may benefit from using a water flosser or a floss threader.
No matter how well your brush and floss, you still need to see your dentist twice a year for your regular cleanings and exams. If it is time for your checkup, you should give us a call. To make an appointment to see our dentist, Dr. Jim Nored at Crosby Dental Center in Crosby, Texas, call 281-328-3569. We’re looking forward to your visit!