The forgotten art of flossing and why it’s important

The importance of flossing

While you may think you’re looking after your dental health perfectly well by just brushing your teeth twice a day, have you ever thought about what else you should be incorporating into your dental routine? Daily flossing is also important and one thing most of us forget to do – despite its important role in dental health. Today, we’re going to explain just how essential it is to floss as we share our top healthcare advice…

Flossing is important because it cleans much deeper than any toothbrush can. While a toothbrush cleans the tops and outer surfaces of the teeth, flossing can get to all those hard to reach areas between the teeth. It’s here that stubborn tartar can build and pieces of food can gather, which in the long term can cause decay and dental problems if not removed.

Despite the importance of flossing, a recent study has revealed that many of us don’t do it at all. In fact, the study even found that we lie about it to our dentists!

The results revealed:

  • 27% of us lie to our dentists on a regular basis, telling them that we floss daily
  • One in three admitted that they have never flossed
  • 14% find cleaning the toilet more appealing than flossing every day – yes the resistance to flossing really is that bad!

The problem of not flossing

ap smilecare blog flossing floss hands

While we briefly touched on this above, this topic certainly deserves more coverage. It’s often a lack of understanding or knowledge of the potential problems that results in people continuing with poor dental care.

The main concern about not flossing is the gum related issues that may result from not doing so, such as gum disease. Gum disease has also been linked with more general health conditions over recent years, such as diabetes, strokes, poor pregnancy outcomes and dementia – so it really pays to look after them!

Flossing made easy – the AP Smilecare guide

  1. Select a piece of floss that’s several inches long. It needs to be long enough to comfortably grip.
  2. Grip the floss with your thumb and forefinger of each hand so that the floss between your hands is about two inches long. Pull it tight and insert it between two teeth.
  3. Guide the floss up and down against the sides of the teeth – remember to do this gently. Your gums may be even more sensitive when you begin flossing.
  4. When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C-shape against the tooth until you feel resistance, gently scraping the floss away from the gum.
  5. Repeat this process for every tooth – even those hard to reach areas at the back of the mouth as these can be often neglected.

For more healthcare advice or dental tips, book an appointment to see your AP Smilecare dentist today. We also have a selection of dental healthcare products available on-site – such as toothbrushes and flosses – which you can pop in and shop at any time.

How often do you floss your teeth? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @APSmilecare

Posted on: 31st Aug, 2015