How (and Why) to Floss Better

Jan 12, 2024
How (and Why) to Floss Better
If you want to bolster your oral health, improved flossing skills may be what the dentist ordered. Learn how to floss better, plus important reasons to do so.

How often do you floss your pearly whites? If you’re like many Americans, it is not enough. Research shows that 20% of Americans never floss, which raises the risk for various health problems. 

Flossing is one of the most helpful habits you can cultivate for healthier teeth and gums – but only if you do it well. 

At Affordable Dental East in Indianapolis, IN, Dr. Ben Mohrman and his team provide dental exams and cleanings to enhance oral health and address minor issues early on. 

Let’s delve into flossing, including why it matters and how to sharpen your skills.

How flossing helps

An estimated 25% of people in the United States have oral hygiene issues. Positive hygiene habits, including flossing well routinely, can lower your risk for most of them. 

Flossing allows you to remove food particles between your teeth and gums that your toothbrush leaves behind. If those particles stay trapped at or below your gum line, they can solidify into harmful plaque, fueling numerous common dental issues.

Given all of that, the benefits of flossing your teeth include the following:

  • Healthier teeth and gums
  • Better breath
  • A reduced risk for cavities
  • A reduced risk for gum disease and tooth loss
  • Less likelihood that you’ll need a root canal

And because routine flossing also helps ensure that your gum tissue stays healthy and not inflamed, you won’t have to worry about pain during dental cleanings.

Sufficient flossing may even enhance your cardiovascular health. People diagnosed with gum disease are 2-3 times as likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke.

How to floss better

To floss your teeth well:

  1. Start with about 18 inches of floss.
  2. Holding the string firmly between two fingers, guide it along the sides of each tooth.
  3. Make a subtle C-shape by moving the floss slightly under each tooth so you get between the tooth’s bottom and your gum line.

If traditional floss seems cumbersome, you can floss similarly using flossers. Flossers also provide a convenient flossing on-the-go option. Water picks provide an additional helpful alternative, too. 

While brushing twice per day is important, aim to floss at least once daily. If you are rushing through the process because it feels tedious, consider listening to music or an audiobook as you floss. Slower, thorough flossing makes way for good technique.

Meanwhile, choose the flossing time of day when you’ll be least likely to skip it. For example, if you tend to be too sleepy just before bed, consider flossing in the morning or between meals. Routine times can help you stay on track.

Our team at Affordable Dental East can guide you through proper flossing techniques at your next appointment. Call our office or book an appointment through our website today to get started with the care you need.