Flossing 101. How to Keep Your Gums Strong 

If you have ever been to the dentist (which we recommend doing at least every six months) you may have heard the age-old phrase “have you been flossing?”. This may be the most common question a dentist asks, and it leads to the question of how often should I floss? Well, this blog is here to help you answer those questions so next time you walk in and showcase your teeth to your dentist they will jump with glee. In this article we will go over the history of flossing, why you should do it, how often you should floss, when you should floss, and the best floss on the market. 

History of flossing 

Dental floss was invented way back in 1815 by a dentist out of New Orleans. This dentist offered his patients an extra little cleaning by using a thin strand of silk to clean in between their teeth. It was until 1882 that a company called the Codman and Shurtleff Company began marketing an unwaxed silk dental floss. This was followed in 1896 by the first dental floss from Johnson & Johnson. The New Jersey-based J&J took out a patent for dental floss in 1898 that was made from the same silk material used by doctors for silk stitches. Since then flossing has been a staple to oral hygiene and has become one of the most important parts of keeping your gums clean and healthy.

Why do you need to floss 

Flossing hits spots that brushing may miss and allows you to get in between your teeth. Flossing contributes to good dental hygiene because it lifts and removes plaque and food in between your teeth. Brushing also removes plaque and food debris, but the bristles of a toothbrush can’t reach deep in between teeth to remove it all. Therefore, flossing helps keep your mouth as clean as possible.

How often should you floss

The dental staff at Woodland Family Dental recommends that you should floss at least once a day to prevent cavities and gum issues. This can be traditional flossing, a floss stick, or water floss. The only one we don’t recommend is this kind of flossing.

Flossing duration varies per individual but a good rule of thumb is to get every gap between your teeth. For more information on how to floss check out this article from Colgate located here.

When is the best time to floss 

The best time to floss is right after your meal either in the morning or at night and should be done before brushing your teeth. This allows for you to break up anything in your teeth so that your brushing can finish the job. 

What kind of floss should you use?

Here at Woodland Family Dental, our team recommends four different types of floss. These flosses are all great options and vary by personal choice.

Traditional Floss 

Who Made That Dental Floss? - The New York Times
  • This floss is great for everyday use, and is our #1 recommendation for those who are just starting to floss. We recommend this style over any other style of flossing as it is the tried and true version 

Floss sticks 

  • Floss sticks are another great option for your flossing needs. These are great tools for on the go and offer a quick clean after meals. We recommend having these at the office or in your car for when you get something stuck in your teeth

Water floss 

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  • One of the newer flossing inventions is a water floss. This device uses water to penetrate the gaps in your teeth knocking out anything that may be stuck in them. This is a fantastic option, but comes with a little cost as many of these products can cost over $100.

Braces Floss

  • If you have braces floss picks are one of the best tools you need. These picks allow the user to get inbetween spots that the braces otherwise would prevent. These are extremely affordable and help prevent cavities while you have your braces on. 

Woodland Family Dental is one of Duluth, Minnesota’s top family dentists. Even though we have our implant service. Woodland Family Dentistry also offers services including general cleanings, cosmetic dentistry, crowns, implants, and more Woodland is here to help you with your dental needs. Not to mention our location on Miller Trunk Hwy Duluth, MN 55811 Woodland Family Dental is close to the business center of Duluth. Set up an appointment today to see why our customers love us. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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