In 2016, several publications emerged with the topic surrounding lack of benefits from flossing.
In response, the ADA responded with their own article, “The Medical Benefit of Daily Flossing Called Into Question.” The write-up illuminated that two major flaws in the evidence against the benefits of flossing to support oral hygiene are that it’s
- Difficult to truly measure if individuals are applying the proper way to floss. And,
- It’s not uncommon for individuals to stretch the truth when “reporting” flossing habits to their dentist.
Before tossing your floss, see why it’s still important to keep this dental process in play.
How To Do the Floss Step by Step (Not the Dance Step!)
Don’t throw out your floss just yet! Although it’s difficult to accurately appraise how effective flossing is in preventing certain problematic dental and health issues due to people not knowing the proper way to floss, there are reasons to stick to this healthy habit. Practicing the right way to floss is one way to improve your dental health. At Hospital Dental Group, we specialize in walking patients through best flossing practices for optimum oral hygiene (and overall wellness!)
Another reason concerns the fact that it’s not uncommon for individuals to cause harm to their teeth and gums as a result of flossing too vigorously or with too much pressure, and/or utilizing the wrong motions.
Flossing the right way will help remove stuck objects from in-between your teeth and provide an added boost of protection before or after brushing your teeth.
Let’s take a look at Dr. Ravin’s best flossing technique recommendation to help keep your teeth, gums, and overall health in top condition:
- Start by selecting a section of floss about 18 inches long (or use your forearm for measurement)
- Wrap the floss around the middle finger of either hand until it’s almost all the way wrapped
- Wrap the other end of the floss once around your other middle finger and grip the floss tightly between the middle finger and thumb of both hands
- *You can also use flossing tools, such as ADA recommended flossing tools*
- Slide the floss down in between the two back molars (left or right, top or bottom)
- Begin to move the floss up and down along the side of the tooth (Do not move the tooth in a front to back motion. This can cause grooves to form on the side of your tooth and eventually wear away the enamel)
- Curve the floss around the base of the tooth and get down below the gum line without “digging”
- Repeat until you every tooth has been flossed
Once flossing is complete, it’s a good idea to rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash to make sure any debris isn’t left to rest on the teeth. If possible, it’s still a great idea to floss once daily for best results. Even better, push for flossing once in the morning and again right before bed.
Don’t Toss the Floss!
Don’t let the idea of “optional flossing,” take up too much residence in your mind. Think of the relationship of brushing and flossing for optimum hygiene and overall health akin to exercise and diet. Although exercise alone will produce several positive health benefits—weight loss, weight management, improved vital signs—if you only eat fried food, you won’t receive the full health benefits as you would from engaging in both daily exercise and subscribing to a well-balanced diet.
Brushing without practicing the proper way to floss will only get you so far! Since many health conditions have similar risk factors to gum disease, including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular issues, it’s worth your while to brush and floss on a regular basis, practicing the proper way to floss.
If you’d like to know more regarding the latest dental-floss findings or are interested in booking an appointment with HDG, contact us anytime at 860-524-5194.