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Do I Have to Floss Every Day?

June 21, 2018

Woman flossing teethHave you heard the old joke dentists tell where the patient asks, “Do I have to floss my teeth,” and the dentist responds with, “Only the ones you want to keep?” Well, that answer is pretty applicable here. The reason you need to floss every day is that this is the only way to remove plaque buildup between teeth. Within 12 hours, plaque begins to harden into tartar. This crystalized substance has to be removed by a professional, and it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease when not removed regularly. Flossing removes plaque between teeth before it can harden into tartar. If you’re not already flossing at least once each day, it’s time to start. Keep reading to learn more about the types of floss and get some tips for flossing more effectively. If you want to learn more or need help with flossing, don’t hesitate to ask at your next preventive dentistry appointment.

What Type of Floss Should I Use?

Truthfully, choosing floss is a matter of personal preference. However, you should keep the following in mind to ensure you’re getting the best results from your daily flossing routine:

  • If you have large gaps between teeth, you may want to use wider, more fibrous flosses
  • Conversely, if you have teeth that are close together, a waxed floss may be a better option
  • Patients who have difficulty using regular string floss, should consider using pre-threaded flossers or an air or water flossing tool

How Should I Floss?

You should floss however you can comfortably access each tooth. The most important thing is to make sure that you run the floss over both sides of your teeth. You should move the floss back and forth from the top of the tooth to the gum line. Carefully clean around the teeth and gums but take care to avoid irritating or damaging your soft tissue.

Meet the Tamborello & Bowen Cosmetic Dentistry Team

The Tamborello & Bowen Cosmetic Dentistry team partners with patients to keep their smiles healthy, but we only get to see you twice a year. That means the bulk of the work that needs to be done to keep you smiling has to come from you, including flossing every day. Our skilled hygienists and dentists will be happy to assist you in finding the right types of floss for your unique smile, and we will be happy to demonstrate proper at-home hygiene techniques. Give our team a call today to schedule an appointment in our Houston dental office.

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