Since childhood, we've all heard the same advice from the dentist about the benefits of flossing every day. Still, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), only 16 percent of Americans floss daily. To better understand the process and achieve the best results, it's important to know the essential role floss plays in your oral health, the best way to floss, and what floss to use.
This refreshing read—along with advice from your trusted dentist—will help you implement the best flossing routine for your busy life.
There are several very obvious benefits of flossing. For example, who wants to go about their day with a bright green piece of chard or ruby red pomegranate seed stuck in their teeth? While delicious, these foods are usually not welcome to stick around in your smile. Flossing takes care of lingering food so you don't need to worry about it being lodged between your teeth. Removing food from between your teeth also promotes good breath.
According to the ADA, the specific oral health benefits of flossing include:
- Removing plaque
- Preventing tooth decay and cavities
- Preventing gum disease
In addition, medical researchers have found connections between oral health and overall health. Harvard Medical School details the links between poor oral health and certain conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis. So keep that floss handy to help maintain overall well-being.
How to Floss
The ADA recommends flossing once a day—any time of day that works for you—using approximately 18 inches of floss. Wrap the floss tightly around one of your middle fingers and guide it between your teeth, gently sliding the floss around the tooth curving up to the gum line. Repeat on every tooth.
What Floss to Use
Once you've decided to take a positive step in your oral care journey by flossing daily, it can be hard to choose between products. There are several types of floss and other interdental cleaning products on the market, including traditional string varieties, water picks, and interdental brushes.
Natural floss is another option to consider. Traditional flosses may contain PFASs, which are synthetic compounds that may be linked to a number of health conditions, according to a study published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology. Instead, natural varieties often use wax derived from environmental sources, such as bees, carnauba, or jojoba.
The naturally waxed nylon filaments in Tom's of Maine Antiplaque Floss prevent snapping or fraying while removing particles efficiently and thoroughly to help keep teeth and gums healthy.
What else can you do for your oral health besides floss? Staying hydrated and limiting sugar intake and snacking are linked to good oral health, according to the ADA. Be sure to keep those regular dental appointments, too. No matter what flossing method you and your dentist decide is the best for your daily routine, your mouth will feel fresher, cleaner, and healthier.
How do you keep your smile at its brightest? Share your oral care tips and techniques with us on Twitter!
The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.
Why It's Good
From fresher breath to improved oral health, the benefits of flossing will make you smile. Get your family in the flossing habit for a lifetime of good oral and overall health.