According to a 2019 analysis, only 32% of American adults floss daily. While flossing may not be the most fun activity, it can prevent the buildup of food debris between your teeth. As a result, regular flossing helps prevent tooth decay.
Flossing is even more important today than it was 100 years ago, as Americans now consume about 152 pounds of sugar per year — and those numbers only account for added sugar. The bad bacteria in your mouth also feed on starches and simple carbohydrates.
Here, our experts at Bucktown Wicker Park Dental, offer some ways to help you boost your flossing game so you can enjoy healthier teeth for longer.
Create a flossing chart
To help get you in the habit of daily flossing, keep track. Using a flossing chart can even be a rewarding experience. Record your progress with fun stickers or colored pens. At the end of the week, you can choose to reward yourself with a little gift if you’ve accomplished your flossing goals.
Experiment with different flossing tools
Flossing can be cumbersome for people who have braces, crowns, and other dental work or for those with crowded teeth. These days, you have options beyond string floss, such as pre-threaded flossers, dental picks, and water flossers.
A water flosser uses a strong jet of water to dislodge food debris stuck between the teeth. Although water flossers aren’t quite as effective as regular floss at removing debris, they can be quite useful for patients with sensitive gums or braces.
Improve your dental floss technique
Gently guide the floss between your teeth with back-and-forth motions. To ensure you don’t miss a spot, wrap the dental floss in a C shape around each tooth, including those in the back, and gently rub the sides.
If floss gets stuck between your teeth, don’t try to yank it out. Instead, use a pair of tweezers.
After you floss, be sure to rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash to clear away any food particles you loosened while flossing.
Floss before bed
If you only have time to floss once per day, choose to floss before bed. Doing so will enable you to remove the debris that’s been sitting between your teeth the whole day.
Flossing only in the morning allows the food debris to sit between your teeth for many hours longer, increasing your chances of bacteria secreting enamel-damaging acids while feeding on the food remains.
Get the smile of your dreams with us
If you’re looking for a highly rated dental office in Chicago, Illinois, contact us to schedule an appointment. In addition to providing professional cleanings and tips to keep your whole mouth clean and healthy, our team offers a full range of dental services.