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When people get dental care, it’s common for the hygienist to recommend stepping up their flossing game. If you think you could use some improvement in the flossing department, don’t be hard on yourself. Too often, flossing is treated like an afterthought. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), using an interdental cleaner such as floss is an essential part of a proper oral hygiene routine.

Flossing removes plaque and food that become stuck in areas your toothbrush can’t reach. This healthy habit plays a major role in preventing diseases of the teeth and gums. People mistakenly believe that using mouthwash will loosen up and remove all the food particles left in your mouth after brushing. However, there is simply no substitute for good old flossing, and just as with brushing your teeth, there really is a right way to floss.

  1. Floss Every Day

The ADA recommends flossing every single day. Left unchecked, plaque turns to tartar, which leads to tooth decay and eventually gum disease. Make flossing a part of your daily routine. Not only will this help to keep plaque at bay, but it can also improve your breath and make your smile brighter and cleaner.

  1. Use a Long Enough Piece of Floss

If you’re using string floss, don’t skimp: You should start with about 18 inches of floss. Wind most of this length around your middle or index finger on each hand. Leave an inch or two to floss with and then use a clean section for each area.

  1. Remember, Flossing Technique Matters

There’s definitely a right way to floss: Curve the floss around the base of the tooth you’re working on and gently slide it up and down along the tooth’s surface. It’s important not to be forceful, as this could injure delicate gum tissue.

  1. Don’t Get Creative About Flossing

A study found that most people have used “unusual items” to remove food from between their teeth. While using a fork or a folded piece of paper might seem like a convenient substitute if you don’t have any floss handy, don’t do it. You could damage your gums, making your problem much worse.

If you’re looking for a great dentist in San Antonio TX, or you just have a few questions about dental care, the experts at Smiley Dental are here to help. Contact the office today.