If the word “flossing” instantly bores you or conjures up images of bleeding gums, allow us to change your mind. Flossing is a critical component of a great smile, and we’re sharing how to develop the best oral care routine for you by adding it to your list of dental essentials. 

What Are the Benefits of Flossing Your Teeth?

Here are just some of the many benefits regular flossing can offer:

  • Flossing helps prevent and remove plaque. Flossing helps remove leftover food particles from between your teeth that brushing can miss, which helps prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar. 
  • Flossing can potentially keep your heart healthy. There’s growing evidence that suggests gum health is closely connected to cardiovascular health. By including flossing in your daily dental routine, you can help keep your mouth (and possibly heart) as healthy as possible.
  • Flossing can help keep your teeth healthy. Flossing is shown to remove more plaque bacteria than brushing alone — bacteria that can impact your dental health.
  • Flossing helps remove plaque. Since flossing helps remove plaque and bacteria from between your teeth, it also helps reduce bacteria and plaque buildup.
  • Flossing gives you fresh breath. Leftover food particles and bacteria can leave your breath smelling less than fresh, but regular flossing helps keep odors at bay.

Did you know? Only 4 in 10 Americans floss their teeth at least once each day, and a whopping 20% of Americans never floss at all. 

Dental Floss & Dental Tape with Tea Tree Oil

How to Floss Like a Boss

According to guidelines set forth by the American Dental Association, it’s important to floss at least once per day in addition to brushing twice daily. As a general rule, it’s better to floss first and then brush your teeth in order to remove all food particles from your mouth. 

Here’s a quick overview of how to floss your teeth: 

  1. Using approximately 18–24 inches of dental floss, wrap the string around your middle or index fingers, depending on which is more comfortable. Leave around 2 inches of space between your fingers to use on your teeth. 
  2. Hold the floss firmly between your thumbs and index fingers.
  3. Slide the floss between two teeth at a time and gently glide it up and down against both sides of each tooth. 
  4. When you reach the base of the teeth, curve the floss against the teeth in a “C” shape to reach the area between the teeth and gums.
  5. Repeat these steps between all your teeth, and be sure to use a new portion of floss for each section.

In addition to brushing and flossing, we recommend using both a mouthwash and brushing rinse each day to keep your mouth healthy. You should also schedule routine dental cleanings at least twice per year.

RELATED: Mouthwash vs. Brushing Rinse: What’s the Difference

Dental Tape vs. Floss: Choosing the Best Oral Care Products for You

The primary difference between standard floss and dental tape lies in their size and shape — both of which directly impact their ease of use. Dental tape is wider than floss and flat like a ribbon, therefore making it easier to maneuver between gaps. If your teeth are close together, standard floss may prove a better option thanks to its overall thinness and ability to slide between crowded teeth more efficiently. Ultimately, the choice comes down to which one is more comfortable and effective for you.

At Desert Essence, our vegetarian flosses are made with sustainably sourced beeswax to smoothly glide through tough-to-clean areas and pure Australian tea tree oil to help keep bacteria at bay. For a fast and easy cleanup after meals, try using our Cinnamint and Tea Tree Oil Mega Mint Toothpicks to dislodge food particles between teeth while refreshing your breath.

Shop our complete dental care collection here.