The Importance of Flossing and How to Make it Easier

 In Dental Talk - Chehalis Dental Care Blog

When it comes to oral hygiene, flossing is the step that most often trips people up. However, we’re here to tell you the benefits of flossing are far too great to let slip by.

What Are the Benefits of Flossing?

It is recommended that you floss at least once per day. Why? The primary benefit of flossing is cleaning places that brushing just can’t reach, such as the tight spaces between teeth or between the base of the teeth and gums. These are the perfect areas for plaque to build up, which can lead to tooth decay.

As explained by Delta Dental, plaque begins to harden within hours of eating, and after 48 hours, it is best removed by a professional cleaning.

By removing plaque buildup daily, flossing also reduces your risk for more serious oral health problems such as gum disease, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and respiratory disease, as discussed in this Medical News Today article.

For pregnant women, it is especially important to floss as periodontal diseases, such as gum disease, have been linked to pre-term births. The National Institutes of Health has more on the subject.

By combining flossing with brushing your teeth as directed, you can give yourself the best chance for a healthy, long-lasting smile.

How to Make Flossing Easier

The top excuses that dentists hear from patients who avoid flossing are

How to Make Flossing Easier

  • That it’s too hard
  • It takes too long
  • Their gums bleed when they floss

Thankfully, all three of these problems can be easily rectified!

  1. Too Hard:

If you find flossing difficult, the first thing to examine is how much floss you are using. It may seem excessive, but approximately 18 inches of floss works best, as stated by Very Well Health. Wind each end around your middle fingers and then use your index fingers and thumbs to grasp the floss tightly. This ensures the floss does not slip or slide during use.

The best technique for flossing includes these three techniques:

  • Use a gentle sawing motion, back and forth
  • Angle the floss so it hugs your tooth in a ‘C’ shape
  • Then move the floss up and down

Repeat these steps on both sides of each tooth throughout your mouth. Once completed, discard the floss and you’re done!   

  1. Takes Too Long:

    Take care of your gums.

This problem corrects itself as you become more comfortable and practiced at flossing. Most people who do not floss on a regular basis take up to five minutes when they do. However, the more you practice, the faster you’ll get! As with anything, practice makes perfect. Experienced flossers can get the job done in under two minutes.

  1. Bleeding Gums:

This is also a problem that sorts itself out with regular flossing over time. Bleeding gums, while unpleasant, are actually a clear signal you need to floss more! More specifically, bleeding gums during flossing can be a sign of poor dental hygiene, as explained in the Healthline article.

Continue to floss, using firm but gentle pressure. If your gums continue to bleed after several weeks of daily flossing, make an appointment with your dentist for a checkup.

Do You Still Have Questions About the Benefits of Flossing?

If you still have questions regarding flossing, IV sedation or dental procedures that give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of, please contact us at (360) 748-1833 or email us at info@chehalisdentalcare.com. For more information, please visit our contact us page.

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