Brushing alone only covers about 1/3 of the total tooth surface area in your mouth, which leaves a lot of space for plaque – and cavities – to thrive. Flossing removes plaque buildup in the places where toothbrushes can’t reach – between teeth. But, more than 50% of American don’t floss daily, and that’s a problem. Flossing is simple, and will help your entire family. To better care for our patients, we’ve decided to write 3 simple steps that will help you master flossing.
3 Steps to Master Flossing
1 – Floss Once Every Day
The best way to become a master flosser is to floss daily. Repetition is the key to mastering anything, but also fully cleaning your teeth. A full flossing routine should include cleaning teeth below the gum line, where dental plaque can go unseen and unreached by toothbrushes. If left untreated, plaque buildup near the root of teeth can lead to gingivitis and tooth loss. Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing are often an early sign of gum disease. People who regularly brush and floss their teeth suffer from gum disease and tooth decay far less than those that do not.
2 – Slow Down
If you move quickly from tooth to tooth, then you risk not fully cleaning the tartar buildup on your teeth. Remember: flossing cleans debris from between your teeth, but also helps remove a thin, damaging layer of plaque that can lead to cavities. We suggest spending about 10 seconds flossing each side of your teeth.
3 – Floss the Whole Tooth
A lot of people only floss one side of each of their teeth – focusing on the gaps between teeth as singular spaces to be cleaned. Again, flossing fights plaque buildup on teeth, so focus on flossing each side of your tooth below the gum line.
How to Floss Children’s Teeth
Here’s a basic guide to flossing your children’s teeth:
1. Begin flossing your children’s teeth when any two teeth touch.
2. Use about 12-18 inches of dental floss. If that is too difficult, try using flossing tools like soft flossing picks.
3. Use wide, flat dental tape to floss your children’s teeth. The width of the floss helps with the larger spaces in children’s teeth.
4. Be gentle when flossing children’s teeth, and avoid applying too much pressure on their gums.
5. Floss both sides of the teeth, and make sure to gently dip beneath the gum lime.
Visit Our Office
Did you know that cavities are the largest disease affecting children? Don’t let that discourage you: flossing is almost entirely preventable. Visit our office so that we can help your child fight cavities, and provide them with an oral health plan that will give them a healthy smile for years to come.