Do you brush every day as instructed by your dentist or hygienist? If so, we congratulate you, because a survey by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that about 70% of Americans don’t!
Those few minutes you spend flossing every day are an investment in your oral health. We aren’t talking about a long, drawn-out process either – brushing and flossing together should not take any more than ten minutes a day.
Dental Flossing 101
But the key is how you spend those minutes. If you aren’t practicing proper flossing techniques, you aren’t going to see the results you are hoping for. The key is to make sure you are following proper flossing habits to keep your teeth clean and healthy.
- Don’t forget to clean both sides of a tooth when flossing. Make a “C” shape with the floss and work one side, then the other.
- Be sure to change to a new length of floss for each tooth. Floss is inexpensive, and you don’t gain anything by conserving it. Worse yet, when you use the same length of floss for different teeth, you are just spreading the plaque you already removed to other teeth.
- If your teeth are crowded, or you have dental work, you may find it tricky to work the floss in between teeth. Don’t force it as you may cut your gums; instead, guide the floss between teeth with a gentle sawing motion. You can also ask your hygienist about floss threaders or other types of floss that will make the job easier.
- Create a plan for flossing and stick to it every time. Having a routine and sticking with it can make flossing more efficient so you can get the job done and get on with your day. Flossing without a plan can lead to sloppy habits and less than optimal results.
Call Us to Arrange Your Next Cleaning
Of course, you also need to combine your efforts with routine cleaning appointments for the best results. If you are due for a cleaning or would like us to review proper techniques, please call our Phoenix, AZ office, and our dentist, Dr. Chad Hines, will be happy to make sure you are getting the most out of your efforts!