Did you floss this morning? Are you planning to floss tonight? Or perhaps you’re ducking your head in embarrassment because you’ve been neglecting your teeth a bit lately? Whatever the case, remember that it’s never too late to start making better oral health decisions! By flossing regularly and thoroughly beginning right now, you can reduce your risk of developing gum disease. Plus, this is the perfect time to start flossing more diligently — a fresh new year, ripe for a new routine! So, if you’re aiming for perfection, how often should you floss?
How Often Should You Floss?
Although brushing your teeth twice daily is an essential and effective way to clean the visible surfaces of your teeth, your brush simply can’t reach the spots between your teeth. Brushing also fails to clean away debris at the very edge of the gum line. If these surfaces aren’t cleaned often, plaque will build up and eventually harden into tartar. This leads to cavities and gum disease, which threaten not only your oral health but also your overall health, as gum disease has been linked with diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and more.
So, how can you clean those hard-to-reach areas of your teeth? All you have to do is floss once each day.
Easy, right? Anyone can find the time to floss their teeth daily. Once-daily flossing is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) as well, so you can feel confident that you’re making a smart choice for your dental health. That said, if you would prefer to floss twice a day, that’s fine too so long as you’re flossing gently and with the proper technique. If you’re concerned that you may be flossing too much or not enough, talk to your dentist or dental hygienist for some personalized advice.
When to Floss
Typically, dentists recommend that you pair flossing with brushing in your daily routine so that it’s convenient and you don’t forget. So either in the morning or at night, before or after brushing your teeth, floss thoroughly.
What if you’re not a fan of flossing and brushing back to back? No problem! The most important thing is that you floss once daily. Choose the time in your schedule that is most convenient and most likely to encourage consistency.
In addition, you may wish to floss after meals occasionally to clean out food and debris stuck between your teeth. If you’ve ever eaten corn-on-the-cob, you know what we’re talking about!
Whether you floss once a day or twice a day, and whether you prefer to floss in the morning or at night, the most important thing is that you take your time when flossing. Carefully maneuver the floss between your teeth, guiding it in a C-shape along both sides of each tooth, to ensure that you gently clean all of the spaces between your teeth.
Finally, remember that in addition to brushing and flossing, a critical piece of the oral health puzzle is to visit your dentist twice each year. Scheduling regular appointments with your dentist ensures that any potential dental problems can be identified and treated early — before they’ve had a chance to escalate into bigger issues.
For more help with flossing, check out our blog posts How to Get into the Habit of Flossing, Types of Floss, Reasons to Floss Your Teeth, and When You Should Floss.
And if you’re looking for an experienced, reliable, and friendly dentist near Springfield, Missouri, contact Wilkinson Dental. Dr. Wilkinson and his team will give you the personalized treatment you deserve using state-of-the-art technology. For exceptional and comprehensive dental care, schedule your first appointment today by calling 417-708-0556 or requesting an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you!