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5 Tips for Smarter and More Effective Flossing

August 24, 2018
Posted By: Dr. Christopher J. Wigley, DMD, FAGD
person flossing

Flossing is a simple habit that can make an enormous difference in the quality of your oral health. When combined, daily brushing and flossing work together to fortify your mouth against potential plaque and cavity-causing bacteria.

As with all oral hygiene practices, proper technique is essential while flossing. Read on for five tips to help make your flossing smarter and more effective:

1. Floss at the Same Time Each Day

Flossing takes a few minutes at most, yet so many patients say they do not have time to floss or find themselves forgetting to floss entirely. To help make flossing a regular part of your daily dental routine, pick a time that works best for you such as when you wake up. Then, commit to flossing at this time every single day.

2. Floss Before You Brush

Most people tend to brush their teeth and then floss afterword, but flossing is actually most effective when performed before you brush. By flossing your teeth first, you clean out the spaces between your teeth and allow the fluoride from your toothpaste to more easily reach them. As a bonus, you brush away food and debris that would otherwise be left sitting in your mouth if you flossed last.

3. Use Enough Floss

When it comes to dental floss, more is definitely better. Don’t make the mistake of trying to floss your entire mouth using a small amount — dentists recommend using pieces that are about 18 inches long and wrapping the excess around both of your middle fingers.

4. Clean Your Floss as You Go

The adult mouth has up to 32 teeth inside, which means there are a lot of spaces to floss and clean each day. It is normal for your floss to become dirty with bits of food, or, especially if you are new to flossing, traces of blood. For cleaner and more effective flossing, wipe your floss periodically or use new sections of the piece as you move throughout your mouth.

5. Alternate Beginning on Top and Bottom Teeth

Your hands typically become tired toward the end of your flossing, which means your technique becomes less effective as you go. To make sure both your top and bottom teeth receive equal care, alternate which set of teeth you begin flossing on from time to time.

Have more questions about how to make your flossing smarter and more effective? Contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Christopher Wigley, preferred dentist in Stuart, FL today! 

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