how often should you floss - woman flossing in mirror

Do You Have to Floss Every Day?

Not sure how often you should floss your teeth? While it may seem like a chore, you really should be flossing every day. We know it’s tempting to skip flossing every now and then, but failing to floss on a regular basis can lead to serious dental problems. At Lifetime Family Dental, we want to help you keep your teeth as clean as possible between appointments. Continue reading to learn more about the importance of frequent flossing.

Why Is Flossing Important?

Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes helps get rid of plaque, which is a buildup of harmful bacteria. Plaque sticks to your teeth and allows the acids bacteria produce to eat away at your enamel. Flossing is important because your toothbrush can’t reach the spaces between your teeth. When you floss regularly, you can prevent tooth sensitivity, tooth decay, and gum disease by minimizing plaque. 

How Often Should You Floss?

To best maintain clean, healthy teeth, you should be flossing once a day. Make sure you floss thoroughly by placing a length of floss between your teeth, pulling it toward your gum line, then sliding it gently under the gum next to each tooth. If you’re not sure how to properly floss, we’d be happy to demonstrate at your next appointment. 

It’s a good idea to floss before you brush your teeth. Flossing after brushing allows the bacteria and food particles that you loosened with flossing to sit in your mouth and cause more damage. Flossing first gives you the opportunity to remove more plaque from your mouth with your toothbrush. 

Can You Floss Too Much?

As long as you do it correctly, there’s no such thing as flossing too much. Flossing more than once a day might be necessary, for instance you could get something stuck between your teeth. It’s also a good idea to floss after eating particularly crunchy foods like popcorn or potato chips, which are more likely to get caught between your teeth and go unnoticed. 

However, no matter how often you floss, if you do it too harshly it can damage your gums and put your mouth more at risk for infection. When it comes to brushing and flossing, it’s best to be gentle and avoid applying too much pressure to your teeth and gums.

What Are the Alternatives to Dental Floss?

String floss is just one type of interdental cleaner. If you have trouble handling string floss, you can try flossing using interdental picks, interdental brushes, or a water flosser to remove plaque from between your teeth. Before you switch to a different tool, however, you should talk to your dentist to find out which type of interdental cleaner would work best for you. 

Flossing with Braces

Regular flossing is just as important with braces for maintaining your oral health. Plus, taking care of your teeth will help ensure a successful treatment. You can speed up the process by using a floss threader to help you guide traditional string floss between your braces and your teeth. If you feel like flossing with string is too cumbersome with braces, try using a water flosser to keep your teeth, gums, and brackets clean.  

Dental Cleanings in Gilbert

No matter how often you brush and floss your teeth, you should never skip a dental cleaning appointment. A professional cleaning gives your teeth a thorough cleaning that your regular oral hygiene routine can’t provide. If you’re due for a professional teeth cleaning, give the compassionate team at Lifetime Family Dental a call at 480-558-4331 to schedule an appointment. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (7/5/2022). Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels