Flossing 101

Flossing, along with regular brushing, is critical to your overall dental health. But unfortunately, it’s still something that most Americans don’t do it regularly. A study by the American Dental Association found that “18.5% of Americans don’t floss at all.” And according to the American Academy of Periodontology, “18% of Americans would rather do dishes than floss.” If you’re one of the 18% who don’t do it or maybe you do it, but not as regularly as you should, here are a few tips to help you make it part of your daily routine.

  1. Just do it! While this may seem pretty obvious, it’s still a fact that most people don’t floss. While we know it’s not going to be the most fun part of your day, it is something that you have to add to your regular routine. It doesn’t matter if it’s day or night, before or after brushing, as long as it’s done regularly.
  2. Find a way that works for you whether it’s using traditional floss or a handy Interdental pick (flosser). Whichever method you chose, be sure you get between each tooth and GENTLY slide it up and down along the sides using a clean section for each tooth.
  3. Don’t panic if you see blood. If it’s been a while since you flossed, you may see minor bleeding which is okay. Just be gentle and stick with it.
  4. Toss the floss. Once you’ve used floss or a flosser, throw it away!
  5. Rinse with clean water. If flossing causes discomfort or bleeding, be sure to rinse with a glass of cool water to soothe your gums.

Regular brushing and flossing are key to making your mouth as healthy as possible as are regular dental checkups. If it’s been more than 6 months since your last dental visit or you’re experiencing pain, give us a call at 573-243-5200 to set up an appointment.