Flossing Recommendations for a Healthy Mouth

Is flossing really necessary? So many people skip flossing on occasion or altogether and recent news reports have cast some doubts on the value of flossing. So, we thought it a good time to address this question here. We believe that flossing is a vital step to a healthy mouth and it is often overlooked. Taking a few extra minutes every day to make sure your mouth is completely clean is worth the effort.

Why Floss?

We highly recommend a regular flossing schedule. When carbohydrates are eaten, the microorganisms in dental plaque produce acid that attacks the tooth enamel, which can eventually cause a cavity. The gums become irritated and inflamed. If the inflammation continues gingivitis may develop and eventually the bone holding the tooth may become damaged.

Brushing removes much of the dental plaque and biofilm, but dental floss does a better job of getting between the teeth where the tooth bristles cannot reach. Getting into these hard to reach spots is what flossing does best.

How Often Should You Floss?

You should floss your teeth once daily at a time that is convenient for you. It could be part of your morning routine, a bedtime habit, or after lunch, if the timing works for you. The most important thing is to get it done every single day.

Another question that comes up often is should you floss before or after brushing? Many people feel very strongly about their preferred order, but the truth is that either before or after works fine as long as the loosened food particles are washed away.

At What Age Should Children Begin Flossing?

As soon as your child has two teeth that touch, cleaning between them is important and flossing is an excellent way to get them clean. However, children don’t have the manual dexterity to floss on their own until they reach 10 or 11, so help and supervision is required.

String Floss or Flossers?

Traditional floss can be more difficult to use for some people, but with proper technique, it is more effective. It takes a lot of practice and an adept touch to reach between the back teeth with floss. However, the flossers make the task easier.

Flossers are popular because they are gentle on the gums, easier to use, and easier to reach the back of the mouth. They are also easy to carry in a purse or keep in your desk drawer. Some people find traditional string floss to be hard on their gums, sometimes causing pain and bleeding. Flossers are a good choice here also.

So, while traditional string floss is considered more effective, you need to use it correctly. If your technique is lacking or you prefer the flossers, give yourself permission to use the flossers and do it daily.

Is it Possible to Floss Too Much?

Yes, if you are overly aggressive with flossing, you can irritate and damage your gum tissue. For most people this is not a problem, when they floss once daily. If you are concerned that you are over flossing or if you are concerned that you are not flossing well enough, please discuss it at your next dental appointment. In the meantime, clean the sides of every tooth once a day with floss, in addition to brushing.

How Can Westend Dental Help?

The experts at Westend Dental are ready to answer any remaining questions you may have regarding flossing, proper technique, frequency, brand recommendation and so much more. We offer appointments and walk-in services to help you get the care and knowledge you need. Contact us today.