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How Often Should You Floss Your Teeth?

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A woman looking into her bathroom mirror while flossing her teeth

There are many reasons to show off your brilliant smile, including having a healthy mouth and oral hygiene routine. When it comes to oral hygiene, you should floss your teeth at least once a day.

Along with regularly scheduled dental exams and cleanings, your oral hygiene routine outside of the dentist’s office is very important. In order to maintain a healthy mouth, flossing helps to remove one-third of the bacteria in your mouth that can cause buildup. There are many ways to floss your teeth other than just the traditional thread. 

What Other Ways Are There to Floss My Teeth? 

For some, the traditional way of flossing can be difficult. There are many reasons traditional plastic string may not work for you. Some other alternative flossing options are:

  • Dental tape: A wider and flatter version of floss
  • Water flossers: These can be easier to hold 
  • Interdental brushes: These reach between the teeth to move any debris that might be between them with a small brush
  • Dental picks 
  • Pre-threaded flossers

If you are unsure which of these options is right for you, your dentist can recommend an option based on your needs.

A container of dental floss sitting on a blue background

What Does Flossing Do for My Oral Health? 

There are about 700 types of bacteria in your mouth! While we try to balance the good and the bad bacteria, having a healthy oral hygiene routine can help ensure that you’re getting rid of as much bad bacteria as possible. Flossing can allow you to remove plaque and bacteria that your toothbrush may not be able to get. 

If you’re not flossing once a day, you can be missing up to one third of your tooth’s surface. Plaque develops on your tooth’s surface every day and is an invisible film. Able to harden within 24 to 36 hours, plaque can turn into tartar which can only be removed by a professional cleaning. Flossing once a day can help ensure plaque does not have a chance to harden on the surface of your teeth. 

If you’ve just begun to floss, you may notice that your gums can bleed. This is normal and can happen when people are first starting to floss. Within a couple of days, this should go away. Should you continue to notice that your gums are bleeding while you are flossing, you should speak about it with your dentist. 

What’s the Correct way to Floss? 

There are several ways and techniques to floss. One way to floss with regular floss is:

  • Take out about an arm’s length of floss from your container (about 40 to 50 cm). 
  • Wrap the floss around both of your middle fingers, leaving about 2 to 3 cm of floss between them. 
  • Use your index finger and thumb to hold the floss in place. 
  • Wrap the floss around your tooth in a “C” shape.
  • Slide the floss up and down gently between your teeth and gums. 
  • When you have finished with one tooth, make sure that you change your section of floss before you move on to the next section. 

Flossing your teeth can take some practice. There are many different techniques and tools available for you to use based on your needs. Sometimes it can take a little patience to master your own technique, but once you do, it will become a simple part of your daily routine. 

How Can I Keep My Mouth Healthy? 

Along with brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, you should come in and see your dentist regularly. By keeping up with regularly scheduled dental exams, your dentist will be able to not only keep your teeth cleaned but check the overall health of your mouth as well. 

During your exam, your dentist will be able to let you know if there are things that you could be improving on and if there are spots that you have missed. They will be able to catch smaller concerns before they become bigger issues if left untreated. 

Here for Your Dental Needs

The dental professionals at Hill Top Dental Centre are here to help keep your mouth and smile healthy. Whether you have questions about your oral health, or need a cleaning or a procedure, our dentists are here to help address any oral health questions you might have. Book an appointment today to speak to one of our team.

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Written by Hill Top Dental Centre

Our clinic offers dental exams and cleanings for children and adultsemergency care when you need it, orthodontics to help align teeth or adjust a bad bite, crowns to restore the function and appearance of your teeth, and many other services to support your smile.

Book your family’s next dental appointments with Hill Top Dental Centre.

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