Your Burning Questions Answered: Why and How You Should Floss


Your Burning Questions Answered: Why and How You Should Floss

Although flossing isn’t exactly what you’d call a hot topic (unless you’re talking about the popular dance move or you’re a dentist or dental hygienist), it absolutely should be because it’s essential to the health of your teeth, gums, and entire body.

Why You Should Floss

When it comes to oral hygiene, brushing simply isn’t enough. Do a simple test to see for yourself.

Brush your teeth like normal (for two minutes, focusing 30 seconds on each quadrant of teeth). Then floss and see how much gunk you pull out from the places your toothbrush can’t reach.

Apart from the ick factor, the primary reasons to floss your teeth are to prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease. Plaque harbors bacteria that produce acids that cause tooth decay and cavities.

Additionally, when plaque is left, it hardens into a substance called tartar. Tartar pushes the gums away from the teeth, creating space where even more bacteria grow. This leads to periodontal disease, which can have detrimental effects like tooth loss, bone deterioration, and an increased risk for systemic diseases.


How to Floss

According to the American Dental Association, less than 10% of Americans floss their teeth regularly, but everyone should floss at least once a day.

Wrap about 20 inches of floss around your fingers and gently pull it between each of your teeth. Form a “C” shape around each tooth and move the floss up and down to scratch the surface of your teeth. Protect your gums from injury by being careful not to floss too roughly.

Personalized Flossing Tips and Floss Recommendations From Our Dentist in La Mesa

In addition to flossing, you should also be brushing your teeth regularly and visiting the dentist twice a year for a regular checkup and professional dental cleaning.

During your routine dental exam, our dentist and dental hygienists will also provide you with personalized tips and recommendations to improve your flossing routine based on your current oral health. We’ll let you know if there’s a particular spot where you should focus on a new flossing tool that could help you better maintain your gum health – especially if you have dental work like dental implants, crowns, or dental bridges.

To learn more or schedule your next dental appointment date with our flossing experts, we welcome you to contact Cardinal Dental today.