Tell the truth: how often are you actually flossing daily?

Sometimes, but not daily? Never? If so, you’re actually in the majority. A 2016 study surveyed more than 9,000 American adults over the age of 30, and found some grim results for local dentists everywhere:

  • 32.4 percent reported no flossing in the previous week
  • 37.3 percent reported less than daily flossing in the previous week
  • 30.3 percent reported daily flossing in the previous week

And though that puts you in the majority, it’s certainly not where you should be content on staying. Your local dentist and dental hygienists at Fort Collins Dental Arts recognize that it can be difficult to floss consistently, but we also know the importance of doing so. To help you recommit to the practice of daily flossing, we’re going to highlight the advantages of doing so and explain why it’s so important. And — bonus — we’ll be giving you some tips to improve your flossing technique. Read on to learn more, and be sure to contact Fort Collins Dental Arts today to set up an appointment for you or your family members.

Why Flossing Is Important

As your local dentist, we see a whole host of benefits to flossing regularly. Here are three of the biggest reasons, though we may give you even more reasons when you come in for a teeth cleaning.

Cleans The Entire Tooth

A toothbrush cleans the front and the back of your teeth fairly well, but what about everything in between? Food and other bacteria can get trapped between your teeth and not find their way out for a while — even if you’re brushing regularly.

Prevents Plaque Buildup

Plaque can build up on your teeth more quickly than you may realize, and once it builds up, it’s not going anywhere without a professional cleaning. Flossing is your most effective tool to defend yourself against plaque, which can cause gum disease and irritation, along with dreaded cavities.

Improves Your Gums

Don’t be alarmed when you get a little blood when you floss — especially if you haven’t flossed in a while. Your gums may be sensitive to your new healthy habit, but they’ll adjust over time. Gum disease — gingivitis — can cause gums to recede and damage the bones in your lower jaw.

How To Floss

So now the good stuff: how to floss properly and effectively. Here are some tips from our local dentist:

  • Use about 15 to 18 inches of floss.
  • Wrap the floss around your index and middle fingers.
  • Hold it tightly around each tooth, but find a lot of movement. Move back and forth, up and down, and against the sides of your teeth.
  • Work hard to reach the molars in the back of your mouth — they need more attention, and because they’re hard to reach, many people miss them.

Ready for your next dentist appointment? Fort Collins Dental Arts is here for you. We offer dentistry for children, cosmetic dentistry, standard teeth cleaning, tooth extraction, and more at our dental office. Contact us today!