As most of us are aware, flossing is an essential part of any oral health care routine, but too many of us forget this step in our oral hygiene routine. The American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day to achieve optimal oral health. Flossing helps to remove plaque from the areas between your teeth where our toothbrush can’t reach. This is important because plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into calculus or tartar. In addition, flossing also helps prevent gum disease and cavities.
You might ask, when is the best time of day to floss? Well the answer is simple – the most important thing about flossing is just to do it! Pick a time of day when you can devote an extra couple of minutes to your dental care. If you are too tired at the end of the day then you may benefit from flossing first thing in the morning or flossing after lunch.
Keep in mind that flossing should not be painful. You may feel discomfort when you first start flossing, but don’t give up! With daily brushing and flossing, that discomfort should ease within a week or two. If your pain persists, be sure to contact a dentist or hygienist.
Proper Flossing Technique
If you find flossing difficult, consider a different flossing method. Some people may prefer to use another kind of interdental cleaner such as a wooden plaque remover, dental pick or pre-threaded flosser. Ask your dentist how to use them properly to avoid injuring your gums. It could be that you simply need to try another type of dental floss—waxed, unwaxed, thick or comfort floss. Just be sure to stick with it and you’ll have adopted a healthy habit for life!
Watch MEC Instructor, Deborah, talk about why flossing is so important and demonstrate the proper flossing techniques!