What You Probably Don’t Know About Flossing

Have you been flossing? Your dental hygienist will usually ask you about that as they begin to examine your teeth. You will probably reply that you are flossing, and you likely do a pretty good job of it too. However, you might be surprised at what you don't know about flossing. Read on and find out more.

  1. Most people pick up the floss right after they brush. That is a good idea because that tends to create a routine that is easy to remember. You can keep floss with you and floss while you are a passenger in the car, when you are watching television, and at other times. However, be sure to give your mouth a good rinse after you floss as soon as you can.
  2. There is a specific way of flossing that works the best. Ask your dental hygienist to show you the way you should be holding and moving the floss. In most cases, you will be told to hold the floss firmly while moving it up and down between each tooth. The floss should form a letter C as you move it. Be sure and get all the way up to your gum line. That is where bacteria lurk waiting to attack your gums and cause gum diseases.
  3. You may be thinking about how nice and clean your teeth will be as you floss. However, the positive effects of flossing can go far beyond a nice clean feeling and affect your general health. Flossing can produce a chain reaction that makes your mouth healthier. That, in turn, will also affect your heart health, blood pressure, and protect you from strokes, diabetes, arthritis, and more. 
  4. Gums can bleed for several reasons. Be sure to let your dentist know about any pinkness on your dental floss. It might be a sign of inflamed gums and that might mean gum disease. However, it's also possible to get carried away when flossing and accidentally cut your gums. Either way, let your dentist know because an opening in your gums could invite bacteria. You might consider using a water flosser for more control when you floss. That could reduce the chances of accidentally cutting your gums.
  5. You've probably heard of the scourge of plaque buildup on your teeth. Unfortunately, plaque can also build up between your teeth and become almost impossible to remove. Remember to floss well between and near the gums to remove the bacteria that cause plaque.

Flossing is an inexpensive, quick, and easy way to prevent more costly procedures. Speak to your dentist to find out more.