How (and Why) to Floss Better

How (and Why) to Floss Better

According to the CDC, about 25% of people in the United States are living with oral hygiene issues, most of which are preventable with proper and regular oral health care.

The main pillars of oral health care are brushing your teeth, flossing, and visiting your dentist for regular cleanings.

Here at American Dental Clinic, we always encourage our patients to treat flossing with the same level of care and urgency as brushing your teeth. Here’s how and why!

Why do I need to floss?

Flossing involves using a thin strip of material (usually plastic) woven in layers that strengthen and reinforce each strand, to remove food particles trapped between your teeth. These thin strips make it easy to reach between your teeth to remove any piece of food your toothbrush missed that could turn into plaque. 

Once plaque has hardened on your tooth, you won’t be able to remove it without the help of a dental professional, so flossing between your teeth protects those areas from falling victim to disease and decay.   

What benefits does flossing my teeth provide?

The major benefit of flossing is preventing plaque from forming, which in turn prevents cavities and gingivitis, reduces and prevents bad breath, and protects your heart from infection. Flossing is just as important as brushing for your oral health. If you want to keep your teeth and your smile healthy, floss at least twice a day.

What happens if I skip flossing?

Not flossing puts you at risk for a host of oral health issues. One of the biggest problems you’ll face is plaque-causing gingivitis that could bring infection into your body. If you’re living with a chronic condition such as heart disease or diabetes, your oral health can affect those issues for the worse, so you’ll need to be consistent in flossing. 

How can I floss more effectively? 

To prepare to floss your teeth, cut a piece of floss about 18 inches long. Wind it around two fingers, leaving about an inch taut between them. Guide the strip of floss between each tooth, sliding it carefully below your gum line to capture particles that you can’t see, but may be able to feel. You should use a clean one-inch strip of floss for every tooth, and you should do this at least twice a day if possible.


Most of us say flossing is important, but then we slack off when it comes to actually pulling out the floss each morning or evening. If you need more guidance or motivation or have any other dental issues, our team at American Dental Clinic is happy to help. Just call our San Diego, California office at 858-215-2951 or use our online scheduler to make your own appointment anytime!

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