Do You Floss Often Enough?

Dr. Antonio Otero
Oct 5, 2018 · 3 min read

To many people, flossing is a trivial issue and not many pay much attention to it. To most, it seems that flossing is just an optional addition to brushing instead of a necessary activity. Flossing even just once a day comes off as too much work. It is recommended to floss daily along with brushing your teeth twice a day. This article offers more information on why you should floss often, and the effects of bad dental habits.

Not Enough Flossing

Brushing twice a day is extremely important. According to statistics taken in 2013 from the American Dental Association, just over 43% of women do not brush their teeth twice a day. This figure is 51% for men. Furthermore, just over 50% of Americans floss on a daily basis and 18% of Americans don’t floss at all. This small sample size shows that around half of the American population don’t care enough about having good dental habits.

Flossing for a Thorough Job

Flossing should be taken more seriously because just brushing is not enough to keep the teeth clean, fresh and free from bad breath. A toothbrush can only take out so much of the stuff that gets stuck in the teeth. That is why for some of us there are some annoying little things stuck in our teeth that we try to force out even after brushing. Flossing is also good for removing plaque build-up on the teeth and gums. Plaque is a sticky covering of bacteria that stays on the teeth. Plaque could also harden into tartar if it is not removed.

It is optimal to floss once a day. This will keep the teeth and gums healthy. It takes about 24 hours for plaque to start building up and this is why it makes the most sense to floss daily to keep that area clear. It really doesn’t matter if you brush or floss first as long as both are done. To floss properly, take about 18 inches of floss and stretch it out tight between your hands. Move the floss around each tooth, making sure that you cover as much of the surface of the tooth as possible. Don’t forget to get the back of the tooth as well.

Don’t Overdo It

In addition, you have to keep in mind that it is possible to over floss. If you do, it is very easy to irritate or even damage your gums. The more flossing the occurs in a day the more chances of irritation to the gums. The gums could become sore, swollen and even start to bleed. Furthermore, flossing could destroy the gum line and expose the tooth’s roots. This could lead to infection and root cavities. Also, over flossing also wears out the enamel on the tooth (enamel protects your tooth from cavities and damage).

Brushing twice a day and flossing daily is extremely important for healthy teeth. These habits will help to keep the mouth fresh, teeth clean, and plaque removed. Just remember not to overdo it because that becomes counterproductive.