Do You Really Need to Floss?

There has been recent press coverage calling into question the recommendation for daily flossing and the influence it has on your oral health. There have been several studies that have found daily flossing to be beneficial in reducing the chance of gingivitis and gum disease.

What are the Benefits of Flossing?

Flossing is an important step in your daily oral hygiene routine. It cleans out the plaque left in between the teeth that brushing cannot get rid of. The build-up of plaque around your teeth and gums may increase your risk of infections and other oral diseases. People that do not floss may become more vulnerable to gingivitis, gum disease, and tooth loss. Flossing may also help your teeth look whiter and improve halitosis, commonly known as bad breath.

How Hard Should You Be Flossing?

Flossing too hard may damage your teeth and flossing too gently may not help much either. If you are not a daily flosser, you may find some discomfort in the beginning, however with time it will get better. If your gums start to bleed when you’re flossing, it may be an indication of flossing too hard or unhealthy gums. If your gums are unhealthy, it’s important for you to floss daily to improve the health of your gums.

What Floss Should You Use?

There is no right or wrong floss that should be used. We do recommend our patients to use floss that has been approved by the ADA since it may be the most effective and safest choice. For people with larger gaps in between their teeth, a wider flat floss is recommended. For people with closer gaps between their teeth, a thinner floss is recommended. Flossing may be difficult with bridges or braces; a floss threader is recommended. The use of the water floss is a good adjunct to flossing, but it is not a replacement for dental floss.

When is the Best Time to Floss?

There is no best time to floss in between your teeth. It doesn’t hurt to floss more than once a day to remove unwanted plaque build-up. Obviously, the more, the better.

When Should Children Start Flossing?

A child should start flossing as soon as their teeth meet adjacently. This generally occurs around the age of two and a half. It is important for parents to teach and show their child how to properly floss and brush their teeth. Make sure to supervise your child during these important daily oral routines.

At Advanced Children’s Dentistry, your Garden City Pediatric Dentist, we want to make sure your child’s teeth are clean and healthy. Call us today at 516-758-KIDS (5437) to schedule your child’s dental care appointment.

200 Garden City Plaza, Suite 101, Garden City, NY 11530 (across the street from Roosevelt Field Mall)

flossing technique infographic - garden city pediatric dentist

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