“Brush Your Teeth!” That was a term heard around my house, but what about flossing? Is it good enough just to brush? Proper and consistent brushing is very important, but flossing is even more important when it comes to preventing gum disease and tooth loss. Flossing cleans between the teeth where your brush cannot get, and food tends to hide and dental plaque develops. So if it’s so important, why do so many Americans not do it? According to recent studies, nearly half of all Americans say they do not floss.

Here are some tips on how to floss better:

  1. Commit to flossing at least once a day for three to five minutes.
  2. Use at least 18 inches of floss and wrap most around your middle fingers to begin, gently flossing through the contours of your teeth.
  3. Think you cannot floss, or have a pain in your hands? Use a floss holder (disposable plastic Y-shaped device) instead of traditional floss.
  4. Consider purchasing a Waterpik, a new water flossing device on the market that power cleans between teeth and gums.
  5. Keep a travel size floss with you for post meal cleanings during the day.