Your toothbrush can’t reach all the plaque and bacteria around your teeth and gums, which is where flossing comes in. If plaque, the leading cause of gum disease, isn’t removed within a day or so, it hardens into tartar and can only be removed through a professional cleaning. Be sure to floss once a day to lower your risk for gum disease.
Courtesy of CDA, here’s how to floss the right way:
- Break off 18-24 inches of floss
- Wrap it around your index and middle fingers, leaving two inches or so between your hands.
- Gently slide the floss between your teeth and wrap it into a C-shape around the base of the tooth and under the gumline. Wipe the tooth from base to tip two or three times.
- Floss both sides of every tooth, periodically going to a new section of the floss as it wears and picks up particles.
Many people fail to make flossing a daily routine, so here are a few ways to try to get into the habit:
- Set a reminder on your phone.
- Test out different types of floss to find the one that’s best for you.
- Keep your floss visible.
- Multitask! Floss while listening to music or a podcast, for instance.