You should floss everyday, for 2-3 minutes each session. Flossing serves similar purposes to brushing, as it removes plaque, bacteria, food particles, and debris from inside of your mouth. However, flossing removes them from places your brush cannot reach–the spaces in between your teeth.
The bacteria in your mouth eat sugars. They then produce an acidic byproduct which eats away at your tooth enamel; this eventually forms a cavity. Flossing does double duty, in that it removes existing bacteria, as well as the sugars bacteria eat.
To floss correctly using traditional dental floss, take an 18” piece of single-filament floss specifically designed for cleaning between teeth. Wrap the ends of the floss around one finger on each hand, leaving enough between them to slide the floss in between your teeth. Use a gentle back-and-forth sawing motion to work the floss between your teeth. Floss around the entirety of each tooth, including your back molars! Behind your back teeth is a great area for bacteria to grow.
Some people have a difficult time with the traditional flossing. If this is you, don’t fret! There are alternatives that are equally effective. Talk to your dentist for instructions on how to use a dental pick, pre-strung flossers, or even a water-flosser!
For more information, call JC Brown DDS in Germantown, Tennessee, at 901-758-1000. Dr. Dr. Jackie Brown and our team are happy to help you!