So, you brush your teeth twice a day? Kudos on the commitment! But if you’re not threading that dental floss between your teeth, you’re sidestepping a critical ally in your oral hygiene brigade. Imagine this: nearly 40% of your tooth surfaces are left grimy if you skip flossing. That sticky film of bacteria, plaque, not only feasts on your tooth enamel but also brews up acids that can lead to cavities, irritate your gums, and set the stage for gum disease. Ready to dive deep into why flossing is a must, and how you can master this crucial routine? Let’s peel back the layers of this dental necessity.

Why Make Flossing a Ritual?

Before we tackle the “how,” let’s uncover the “why.” Far from being just dental decorum, flossing is essential for cutting through the plaque fortress that builds up between your teeth and under the gumline—areas your trusty toothbrush can’t reach. Here’s what flossing champions:

  • Battles Tartar Build-Up: Unflossed plaque hardens into tartar, a tough cookie that only your dentist can break through.
  • Shields Against Gum Disease: Swipe away that plaque, and you’re safeguarding your gums from the sneak attack of gingivitis, the first phase of gum disease.
  • Keeps Your Heart Ticking Right: There’s chatter among scientists that the villains behind gum disease might mingle with your heart health risks.
  • Boosts Overall Health: A clean mouth does wonders beyond mere aesthetics—it curtails the risk of infections that could otherwise dance from your mouth to other parts of your body.


Flossing 101: Back to Basics

Let’s lace up for the nitty-gritty of flossing right:

  • Pick Your Fighter: Nylon or single filament (PTFE)? If your teeth play it tight, glide through with PTFE floss.
  • Measure Up: Begin with about 18 inches of floss, twirling most around your middle fingers, leaving 1 to 2 inches to maneuver.
  • Technique Matters: Keep the floss taut between your thumbs and index fingers, waltz it gently down and up between your teeth. Hug each tooth with the floss and dip below the gumline gently.
  • Fresh Cuts: Advance to a clean segment of floss for each tooth to avoid re-depositing the bad guys.
  • Don’t Skip the Backstage: Those back teeth might be out of the spotlight but don’t let them harbor plaque out of laziness.

Pro Tips to Floss Like You Mean It

 Increased risk of serious oral inflammation and infection
 Tooth decay, cavities, gum disease and tooth loss

  Depressed immune system – opening the door to other types of disease
  Social/psychological difficulties due to poor personal hygiene & appearance
  Increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pregnancy complications, dementia (incl. Alzheimer’s disease) and respiratory diseases (incl. pneumonia)