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When it comes to dental hygiene most people believe that it stops with brushing your teeth twice a day, but one of the crucial parts of dental hygiene is flossing. Flossing is often looked upon as another time-consuming task that hurts the gums and creates gaps between one’s teeth. However, dentists are not only recommending this regiment as another way to add on to your fear of the dentist but preventing diseases and infections. Believe it or not, brushing your teeth and mouthwash is not enough to kill and wash away all of the bacteria and leftover particles in your mouth- flossing finishes the job. Before you completely toss out the floss, make sure to read below for some helpful tips and tricks to maintain great dental hygiene!

Why is Flossing important?

The human mouth contains hundreds and thousands of germs, and those germs and bacteria can pile up and create an infection and disease. According to the American Dental Association(ADA), the leftover plaque can cause cavities, gingivitis (early stage of gum disease), decalcification (lesions created by acidic consumption), heart disease, increased blood clots, and more. Most importantly, by making flossing a part of your daily routine, it will be one step to prevent and protect your dental hygiene and general health.

Flossing Tips

When it comes to flossing, The American Dental Association(ADA) recommends that flossing once every day is ideal for good dental hygiene. Below is a step by step instruction guide to properly floss your pearly whites:

  1. Take off about 18 inches of the floss. 18 inches is about two knuckle lengths.
  2. Wrap two inches around both middle fingers (for a better grip hold the floss between the index and thumb on both hands).
  3. Follow the curve of the mouth, and GENTLY guide the floss between your teeth. Moving the floss gently will help for it not to snap or break.
  4. When the floss touches the gum create a C- shaped curve, and slide it up and down along the gum line,

Flossing with Braces & other types of dental floss: It is no secret that flossing while having braces can be a complete nightmare. Although navigating through the metal can be 10x more challenging and frustrating, doctors and professionals recommend flossing after every meal and snack. Flossing with braces is especially important as it can slow down the movement of your teeth with badly damaged gums. However, there are more ways to floss than the traditional white wax thread. New tools such as water flossers help alleviate some of the stresses of flossing and still get the job done. Read through to see different ways to floss with braces:

  1. Traditional flossing: This method is the most common way, but it is also one of the most disliked of the options. The white thread has many pros, as it can be made of either silk or wax, which makes it the most affordable option and the most readily available. Also, because the string is so thin, it can get between spaces and easily remove plaque well. However, if this method is misused and you accidentally cut the gum, it can lead to gum disease.
  2. Water Floss: Water flossers can be thought of as little vacuums in your mouth. The pressure of the water against your teeth removes the plaque and debris out from between the braces. According to the Silberman dental group, water flossers are more preferable for patients with braces, as it does not require much physical work to remove the bacteria. This pressurized system is quicker than the traditional threading, but it is on the pricier side. Water flossers like, WaterPikcan range from $50-100 depending on the model, and they require routine cleaning after use, unlike the strong floss which can be easily tossed out after each use.