Written By Kassandra Foreman / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Even though everyone is encouraged from a very young age to floss their teeth twice a day, research has shown that very few adults floss even once a day. Of those who do floss daily, even fewer are flossing correctly. About 16 percent are flossing daily and less than half of those are doing it correctly.
Most people floss the teeth only up and down, which only cleans the small area that it reaches directly between the teeth. It does not remove plaque that has built up at the gumline, on the sides of the teeth, or even below the gumline.
As the curve of the tooth goes towards the gums you need to follow the contour of the tooth to remove plaque by curving the floss around the tooth - the shape of a C - to remove plaque from all around. Each tooth needs to be done separately, including behind the back teeth.
The American Dental Association has specific recommendations for flossing in five steps. This includes selecting around 18 inches of floss and wrapping it around the middle finger of each hand to create a comfortable flossing position.
Pull the floss tight using forefingers and thumbs, then gently rub the floss between the teeth, curve it around the tooth and slide it down the tooth.
Rub the side of each tooth with the C shape of floss curved around it to remove plaque from the gumline to the top of the tooth. This process must be repeated for each tooth, including the back of the very back teeth.
When to floss
A water flosser is recommended for anyone over the age of 35 in addition to regular flossing rather than in place of. This ensures that all food debris is removed from between the teeth and around the gums even as the jawbone begins to weaken.
Improper flossing allows plaque accumulation. This in turn causes gums to inflame leading to gum disease and tartar buildup. Teeth that are not flossed correctly will also develop cavities as the acid causes tooth decay.
To protect the teeth, it is important to remove all food debris and any plaque buildup before it hardens into tartar and allows for tooth decay to begin.
Flossing the teeth correctly before brushing will reduce any buildup of plaque or tartar, slow the development of inflammation and dental decay, and maintain oral health. Without proper flossing receding gums are more likely to occur, and risk of gum disease will increase, which can lead to tooth loss.
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Kassandra Foreman has been writing freelance for five years now and enjoys learning about new things to write about. When not writing she teaches yoga and meditation with a focus on health and fitness.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.