Flossing your teeth is important. In fact, it could be just as important as brushing your teeth. According to Dr. Burhenne from Ask the Dentist, brushing your teeth is only doing 50% of the job at best. The rest comes from flossing. But, it is also important to floss correctly. Here are a few mistakes you might be making:
1. You Don’t
This is probably the biggest mistake out of the three. According to the American Dental Association, only four out of ten Americans floss every day, and 20% of Americans never floss. But, there is an easy fix to this. All you have to do is start flossing! Now, that may sound easy, but actually putting it into your routine is pretty difficult. Why is that the case? Taking 4 minutes out of your day to brush your teeth seems so easy, but adding another minute or two to floss seems like such a hassle for most people.
I’m still trying to figure out the answer to this myself. I never used to floss. Brushing for two minutes twice a day wasn’t an issue, but flossing always seemed like so much work. And I always thought I could get away with just flossing once right before my dental appointment.
But, this all changed once I realized how bad not flossing can be. According to Dr. Burhenne, there are spots between your teeth and underneath your gums where your toothbrush can’t reach. This allows bacteria to build up even if you can’t see it. And this can eventually lead to serious problems, such as tooth loss, heart disease and dementia!
I don’t know about you but I think it is worth it to avoid any problems down the road by taking the extra time to floss every day.
2. You Don’t Use Enough
If you are like me, you probably want to conserve your floss by using as little as possible every time. But, from personal experience, I found that you can actually end up wasting floss by trying to conserve it.
Many times, I would try to conserve floss by breaking off a small strand and end up having to throw it away because it simply wasn’t long enough. Whereas, If I had just used a longer strand in the first place, I wouldn’t be wasting any floss.
According to the American Dental Association, you should use about 18 inches of floss and wrap it around each of your middle fingers.
3. You’re Doing it Wrong
Flossing can’t be that complicated right? Well, it isn’t, but it can still be easy to get wrong.
I didn’t realize I was flossing wrong until my last dental appointment where my dental hygienist taught me how to do it.
According to the American Dental Association, you should curve the floss into a “C” shape against the side of your tooth and gently rub the floss up and down, keeping it pressed against your tooth.
And make sure you get both sides of your teeth!
Sources: American Dental Association, Ask the Dentist
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