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Flossing is an integral part of your oral health regimen; however, many people don’t spend enough time flossing their teeth, or they don’t floss at all. By flossing just once a day, you can decrease your risk of gum disease and increase your chances of maintaining good oral health throughout your lifetime.
Why should I floss?
Brushing cleans the tops and sides of your teeth, but flossing cleans in between them where your toothbrush can’t reach. Dental floss removes plaque and debris that adhere to teeth and gums; it also helps to polish tooth surfaces and control bad breath.
How often should I floss?
You should floss your teeth for 2 or 3 minutes at least once a day. The best time to floss is right before bed, but you can incorporate it into any part of your daily routine that’s convenient.
What is the proper flossing technique?
There are two acceptable methods for flossing:
1. To use the spool method, take an 18-
2. To use the loop method, take an 18-
Which kind of floss should I use?
There are a variety of flosses available, and all of them do a similar job of removing plaque. Wide floss, or dental tape, may be beneficial for those with a lot of bridge work or a lot of space between their teeth, while waxed floss may be easier to fit between tight teeth or restorations. Unwaxed floss makes a squeaking sound to let you know when your teeth are clean. Bonded unwaxed floss does not fray as easily as regular unwaxed floss, but it does tear more than waxed floss. Another option is pre-
Should I use a waterpick? A waterpick, or irrigation device, should not be used as a substitute for brushing and flossing because it does not remove plaque. However, waterpicks can be used to remove food from the areas around braces where a toothbrush can’t reach. Dentists also may recommend that patients with gum disease use a waterpick with an antibacterial agent in the reservoir. If you have questions about what type of floss to use or the best method for flossing your teeth, be sure to ask your dentist.
Published with permission by the Academy of General Dentistry.
© Copyright 2013 by the Academy of General Dentistry. All rights reserved
This information was compiled for you by the Academy of General Dentistry.