For some, this might sound like a no-brainer, but to a lot of people, this daily ritual is an unnecessary extra step! Personally, I am absolutely obsessed with flossing my teeth, and I do it after every. single. meal – religiously! I think flossing is one of those things that’s either ingrained into you from an early age or you just never learn the benefits of it, and therefore don’t do it.
In the U.S., flossing is huge, and you’re told you should do it daily. Dentists will say after every meal, but even just once a day is better than nothing. The benefits go beyond oral health: Flossing regularly removes harmful toxins that can be absorbed into your bloodstream, which can ultimately impact your health and your body’s biggest organ; your skin.
The truth is, flossing is SO important, and some dentists actually believe it’s more important than brushing – it can apparently extend your life span!
To give you the full dl, we reached out to two world-renowned dentists; NY-based cosmetic dentist Dr. Ghalili and celebrity dentist Dr. Rifkin – the man behind Chrissy Teigen’s smile. They gave us the full flossing lowdown, from why it’s essential to how to floss like a pro…
Why Flossing Is SO Important
Dr. Rifkin insists; “Flossing is the most important oral hygiene technique to eliminate bacteria from plaque and food particles caught between the teeth, which are the most common area for decay, gingivitis and bone loss.” While Dr. Ghalili adds “Flossing is important because it helps remove food particles that are stuck between teeth. If not removed the particles attract bacteria which flourish and can lead to plaque, gum disease, and decay and can even affect other organs in the body through inflammation.”
Do you guys floss?
How Flossing Can Impact Your Health
Flossing doesn’t just boost your oral health, Dr. Ghalili informed us; “Studies show that regular flossing can increase your life span by at least two years.” In fact, “By eliminating harmful bacteria, systemic health is improved as bacteria can and will travel into the bloodstream and the entire body. Eliminating bacteria can also eliminate bad breath and staining of teeth, which is unaesthetic and unappealing” explains Dr. Rifkin.
How To Use Floss
While you may think flossing is pretty self-explanatory, Dr. Rifkin told us that a lot of people get it wrong. “Flossing is relatively easy once the technique is demonstrated and practiced in front of the dentist or dental hygienist once or twice. Most people use an incorrect technique of seesawing floss back-and-forth between the cheek and the tongue potentially cutting the gum tissue and not removing all the plaque.”
How to floss: “The optimal technique is to hold the floss securely between the middle fingers of each hand, then using the index fingers support the floss by pushing down and sliding through the contact between teeth. Once you’re past the contact [of the teeth], use up and down sliding motions on each side of the tooth, wrapping the floss partially around each tooth in a ‘C’ shape, thereby wiping the plaque off the two teeth surfaces. Then pull the floss through and outward from the teeth, releasing one hand and then re-grasping the floss for the next two teeth sides. This should be repeated through the entire mouth between all teeth, and even on the backs of the last teeth on each arch and each side.”
If that technique sounds too complex, Dr. Ghalili simply instructs: “The best way to floss is to wrap the floss around a finger of each hand in order to be able to hold it taut, then gently wedge the floss in between each tooth all the way down to the gum line and while there, gently massage the gums. This stimulates and strengthens the gums.”
How do you guys feel about flossing? Let us know in the comments.