Why is Flossing Necessary

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga.– Teeth mold and toothbrush remind personnel to continue flossing. Flossing helps to keep teeth healthy by removing food debris and plaque from areas a toothbrush can’t reach. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Mancha)(RELEASED)

Flossing has always been underestimated as an optional step after you brush your teeth.The common misconception is that you don’t have to floss if you brush twice a day. However, the bristles on the toothbrush fail to remove the germs and residue stuck between the teeth. Flossing is arguably even more important than brushing because the bacteria that get stuck between the teeth can propagate gum disease.

Even some people who do floss on a consistent basis sometimes skip the back teeth portion. In fact, most people know about the importance and benefits of flossing, but they do not always act on it. Plaque buildup eventually hardens into tartar which can later engender gum disease and tooth decay.

Most people who do regularly floss do not know the proper technique for flossing. Below we have listed the proper technique to floss effectively to maximize the amount of bacteria and plaque removal.


The Proper Flossing Technique:

  • Tear out a long piece of floss (longer than 15 inches)

  • Wrap the floss around your middle finger and grip a part of it between your thumb and index finger with each hand.

  • Station the floss between the two teeth and slide it against the side wall of one tooth down to the gum. Move it back and forth in an up-and-down motion. DO NOT SAW FROM SIDE-TO-SIDE.

  • Pull out the floss by sliding up, and repeat flossing with the other teeth.

  • If you’re still uncertain, ask your dental hygienist!

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