Flossing is something many dentists encourage patients to do.

The American Dental Association (ADA) gives three main reasons as to why flossing is important for dental health:

  • It helps remove plaque that brushing misses
  • It can help prevent gum disease
  • It can help prevent cavities

How often and when should you floss?

The ADA recommends flossing once a day. When surveying whether people flossed before or after brushing, the results were that 53% of people brushed first and 47% flossed first. The ADA says the order doesn’t matter as long as you’re thorough about cleaning between your teeth. It also doesn’t matter whether you floss at night or in the morning. If you’re too tired at night, then floss in the morning. Or if you’re too tired in the morning, then floss at night. Pick the time when you’re most likely to do a thorough job.

Should you teach children about flossing?

Absolutely, you should start teaching children when they are young, but they may not have the dexterity to be very good at it until they reach 10 or 11 years old.

Is there a right way to floss?

Yes, there is, and you don’t want to be so vigorous that it’s painful but also don’t be so gentle that you don’t effectively remove food and plaque. When you first start flossing, you may feel a little discomfort, but that’s normal.

You should wrap about 18 inches of floss around your fingers, using both hands. The motion to use with flossing is to begin on the upper right and loop around to the upper left, and then start on the lower left and go round to the lower right. Flossing should take about a minute to do. Whether you use waxed or unwaxed floss isn’t important. Some people prefer waxed floss because it doesn’t shred.

Get Regular Checkups

Getting regular checkups is also part of good dental health, and at Hutto Hippo Family Dental, Dr. Baker is glad to discuss dental care with you help you have healthy teeth and gums.