It takes a lot of courage to admit that you haven’t been flossing for the past six months when you finally visit your dentist in Ephrata. Even if you tell a white lie, your dentist can definitely tell if you’ve been flossing once a day or just the day of your dental appointment. Flossing as you should—simply once a day—can really save you from a plethora of dental problems, despite some reports that claimed that flossing was no longer important to your oral health. Actually, the Department of Health and Human Services and our team all agree that flossing still a key component to an excellent oral hygiene routine.
So, you’re ready to start flossing correctly? How do you do it? What kind of tools do I need? Here are a few common questions that you may be wondering about flossing.
How often should you floss?
Every dentist will tell you that you should floss your teeth at least once a day, preferably before bed. This will allow you to remove plaque and food debris stuck in between the teeth that brushing alone cannot remove. When plaque is left on your teeth, it can harden into tartar. Additionally, regular flossing can help keep other dental problems like cavities and gum disease from developing.
What’s the best tool to use for flossing?
That will depend heavily on your own preference. Sometimes, you may need to change the type of dental floss you use to make this practice more comfortable. For example, you might want to switch to a waxed, unwaxed, comfort or thick floss to make flossing easier for you. If you do not want to use a dental floss, there are other options that your dentist can recommend. These include water flossers, dental picks, and pre-threaded dental flossers that make it easy to floss even when you’re on-the-go!
When should you floss your teeth? Before or after brushing your teeth?
You may wonder which is best for your teeth: brushing then flossing or flossing then brushing. The truth is that we just want you to floss period! But, if you must know, flossing before you brush your teeth is ideal for your dental routine. This way, flossing will loosen the dental debris and plaque that would otherwise be stuck between your teeth. Then, you’ll be able to go back and brush your teeth, removing all of that loose dental bacteria and leftover food. But, if you have a hard time doing that, it’s still okay to floss teeth after you brush if that’s more convenient for you.
At what age should my child start flossing their teeth?
The simplest answer is when he or she has two teeth touching each other. When first learning their dental routine, parents may need to assist their children in this task because it requires more dexterity than some young children are capable of. When your child is around 10 or 11 years old, they should be able to floss their teeth on their own.
Have more questions?
If you have more questions that we didn’t get a chance to address here or if you need help establishing a better dental routine for you or your loved ones, contact your family dentist in Ephrata. We would be happy to schedule an appointment for you!