How Often Should I Floss?

If you have ever been to the dentist you most likely didn’t make it out of the office without hearing how important it is to floss or even receiving some floss as a reminder. However, you may still ask yourself: how often should I floss? To help you out, your cosmetic dentistry services in Rogers Arkansas help you decide how often you need to break out the dental floss.

How Often Should I Floss?

Flossing is a cornerstone of dental health, equal in importance to a daily toothbrushing regimen. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends performing this cleaning ritual at a minimum of once a day, but depending on many factors, you may need to do so more often.

The purpose of flossing is to clean the areas between the teeth and near the gums where the bristles of toothbrushes cannot reach. It dislodges and scrubs away a sticky substance called plaque that enables bacteria to feed on the leftover food that may be stuck to your teeth. This bacterial process releases acid that causes the decay of your tooth enamel and may also cause gum disease once the plaque hardens into tartar (calculus) that may appear as a rough yellow buildup between the teeth or near the gum line. This leads to a need for restorative dentistry services and more dental work down the line.

The Benefits of Frequent Flossing

If you are prone to getting food stuck between your teeth, plaque and tartar may be getting trapped in there as well. Once plaque has hardened into tartar, only a trip to the dentist can remove it.

However, you can prevent the formation of tartar by flossing more often than the minimum recommended amount. Many people benefit from flossing twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed, but in some cases flossing after every meal should occur. In some cases, the spacing of the teeth or orthodontics dental devices can provide challenges to effectively flossing with traditional dental floss and other methods such as dental picks or water cleansing devices may be the best option.

More frequent flossing has the added benefit of:

  • Better breath throughout the day as a result of the elimination of bacterial odor
  • Closer examination to observe dental problems that may require a dental appointment
  • Tougher gums to prevent bleeding when flossing

Flossing Pro Tips

Whether you use normal dental floss, picks, or devices remember to look for an American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval before using it. Many products make grandiose promises that they can’t deliver and the ADA only accepts products that are safe and proven effective. You also should not stress too much about when you floss during the day so long as it gets done. You can do it in tandem with your regular brushing or throughout the day when you find yourself with a few spare minutes.

Be mindful of the pressure that you are using when flossing. You should apply firm pressure but let up a little when you meet resistance or feel pain. Flossing doesn’t need to hurt to be effective. Sawing away at the gaps between your teeth may damage gum tissue, but also keep in mind that if you are being too gentle you might not be getting as much as you can out of flossing. With practice, it should be easy to find a happy medium.

So, how often should I floss? Remember to floss every day! However, if you are noticing tarter formations you may need an appointment at Marcus Black DDS ASAP. If you need a cleaning or general dentistry services in the Rogers, Arkansas area, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 479.464.0900 today.

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