Why Do I Need To Floss?

flossing technique

Ever wondered why dentists always tell you to floss? Here’s why!

While most people keep up with brushing their teeth twice a day, many people don’t keep up with another crucial step in their oral health routine: flossing. Flossing can be seen of as a chore, but it’s the greatest tool you have for protecting your teeth from plaque. If you’ve ever wondered why flossing is so important, we have the answers!

Do You Floss Before Or After Brushing?

If you floss, do you do it before brushing your teeth or after? While it may seem like it shouldn’t make a difference, the order of your oral health routine is essential. The correct order is to floss first, then brush, then rinse with mouthwash if needed. The reasoning behind this is that flossing removes food particles and plaque from your teeth, but then they just sit in your mouth. Brushing immediately after flossing removes the food and plaque away completely before they have a chance to harden into tartar. Tartar is a hard calcified deposit that forms on the teeth and contributes to tooth decay. If you brush first and floss last and the plaque on your teeth hardens, you will need a professional cleaning to remove the tartar. If it’s not removed, it could lead to oral health problems, such as gingivitis.

Why Do I Need To Floss If I Brush My Teeth Every day?

Many people think that they have great oral health because they brush twice a day, but brushing only removes about 50 to 60 percent of the plaque in your mouth. Brushing your teeth twice a day is great, but it just doesn’t cut it when it comes to truly cleaning your teeth. Brushing can’t get in between the teeth, where a significant amount of food particles live. The area in between your teeth is covered with bacteria, and not flossing can be the cause of bad breath, cavities, or gum disease.

Flossing Technique

To get the most benefit from flossing, you must use the proper technique. First, break off about 18 inches of floss, winding the majority of it around a middle finger on each hand. Tighten the floss, so there is no slack, with about an inch of floss open. Guide this floss between each of your teeth by using a gentle sawing motion- don’t put too much pressure though, especially on your gums. When the floss is on your gums, curve it into a C-shape against the tooth, then slide it into the between the gum and the tooth to get a deep clean. Hold the floss against the tooth and scrape gently toward your tooth, moving the floss away from the gum.

Keep Your Smile Healthy with Affinity

Affinity Dental has six dentists and provides a variety of services from pediatric dentistry to orthodontics. Affinity Dental is capable of meeting all your needs. With 170 combined years of treating a variety of dental needs, Affinity is committed to providing quality dental care. To get your teeth back into good health and make your smile bright, call us at 410-719-7900 or contact us online. For other useful tips on dental care follow us on Facebook.

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