The Core Problem: Americans Aren’t Flossing
According to a study from the Cable News Network, nearly 1 in every 3 adult Americans do not floss their teeth regularly or properly. The National Health and Nutrition Survey also reports that 37% of Americans floss less than once per week. From these, 30% reported that they floss at least once every day of the week. But most shockingly, a staggering 33% of the same population reported that they do to not floss at all. Whether these numbers seem shocking to you or not, these numbers clearly show a lack of understanding for dental health within Americans.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention made an announcement that there is a clearly indicated need for more awareness amongst Americans on the benefits of flossing. During an interview with CNN, Dr. Duong Nguyen said, “Repetition is the key to mastering, if you hear it more and hear it from different places, maybe it will stick a little more.”
Because we realize that it all starts with a little more education on the subject, Whitney Ranch Dental wants to spread awareness on the importance of flossing while also providing the readers with key information on how to protect your smile with daily routines and techniques on flossing.
How to Floss Your Teeth
Most importantly, flossing needs to be done daily. When you don’t floss your teeth daily, you allow plaque and food particles to build up between your teeth where toothbrushes can’t reach. Keep reading to learn more on the dangers of not flossing at least once every day.
Here are some step-by-step techniques to guide you on flossing the most effectively:
- If you are using traditional floss over a dental floss pick, start by getting about 18 inches of floss, winding most of it around each of your middle fingers leaving an inch or two of floss to work with.
- If you are using a dental floss pick, simply get a single pick and you are ready to go. This makes preparing to floss much easier—and as an added bonus, the end of the floss acts as a plastic toothpick to remove larger chunks of food particles that can be caught in the gums.
- Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently between the teeth and comfortably move it up-and-down.
- Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth making sure you go beneath the gum line. Never apply too much force to the floss because you can end up cutting into your gum or snapping the floss, both of which can result in damaging or bruising delicate gum tissue.
- With traditional floss, work your way up by cleaning sections of the floss after flossing sets of teeth. This will prevent you from accidentally leaving behind food matter or plaque that you removed initially. With dental floss picks, change out your pick after every few set of teeth to make sure the floss stays clean during the flossing process.
- To remove the floss, use the same back-and-forth motion you used to bring the floss between the teeth to bring the floss up and away from the teeth. This will safely remove the floss without leaving any particles behind.
- Once you are finished dispose of the floss and don’t reuse it. A used piece of floss won’t be as effective as fresh floss and could leave bacteria behind in your mouth.
The Dangers of Irregular Flossing
At Whitney Ranch Dental, we want to underline just how important it is to floss on a daily basis. We want our patients to understand that without regular flossing their smile may be in danger from rapid plaque buildup between the teeth. The plaque then hardens overtime and turns to tartar, which can’t be removed by toothpaste. Subsequently, the tartar eats away at the teeth and gums causing the teeth to fall out. Depending on a patient’s age, a lack of flossing can lead to a number of different dental emergencies.
If daily flossing is a challenge for you, remember that it only takes less than 5 minutes of your day to protect your teeth and ultimately save yourself from an expensive trip to the dentist. If you need some motivation in remembering, here are some quick and easy tips:
- Give yourself a variety! Try branching out from standard floss and try using favored flosses, water picks, disposable picks, and floss picks.
- You don’t always need to floss right after you brush your teeth. If you are in a rush try keeping a packet of floss handy on you in a convenient place, such as your car, purse, desk, or backpack. Flossing only takes about 5 minutes so you can try to squeeze it in before a meeting or during your free time.
- Set a reminder on your smartphone or smart watch that reminds you to floss. This can help make flossing become a part of your daily routine overtime.
Whitney Ranch, a Henderson General Dentist
To learn more about how to properly care for your teeth, contact Whitney Ranch Dental today in Henderson, NV. Our trained dentists will give you key information about what types of oral care products will be most effective for you. They will help you look for products that contain the quality Seal of Acceptances so you know they have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness.
For more information now, call our practice today at (702) 233-2787 or book an appointment with one of your dental professionals via our appointment booking page.