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How to Floss Your Teeth Effectively

Flossing can be a tricky habit to remember for a lot of people. Our mornings and evenings are busy enough without devoting an extra 10 to 15 minutes to care for our oral health.

At Gateway Park Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we understand this dilemma, and that’s why we make a point of educating our patients on how to perfect their flossing skills so they can do it more effectively and efficiently. As your friends and dental experts, our goal is to make maintaining a healthy smile as easy as possible for you and your family. Here are a few flossing pointers to help you get the most benefit out of the time you spend caring for your teeth.

Start with plenty of floss to work with. The American Dental Association recommends using 18 inches. The more floss you use, the easier it will be to wrap securely around your fingers.

Use a rubbing motion to guide the floss between your teeth. Some teeth may be positioned very close together, making it difficult to reach the spaces in between. A back-and-forth motion combined with pressure is a good way to ease floss between these teeth.

Once you have the floss between your teeth, gently guide it over the whole length of your tooth from the gumline down to the tip. Repeat this with the other tooth. This will make sure you remove the plaque and bits of food that tend to gather along your gums.

If you are new to flossing or not coordinated enough to floss by the method outlined above, a floss pick may be recommended to you. These are generally discouraged because, unlike normal floss, they can gather and spread bacteria throughout your mouth. Typically with normal floss, the action of uncoiling and re-coiling the floss around one’s fingers helps to ensure that a fresh section of floss is used every few teeth. With floss picks, this process is eliminated, causing the pick to spread bacteria from one tooth to the next. If you have an infected tooth or gingivitis, floss picks can spread the disease to healthy parts of your mouth. If your teeth and gums are in good health, however, rinsing the pick under hot water every so often can remove any bacteria while you receive the benefits of flossing.

Dr. Zenon and our staff are always happy to give you an in-office demonstration of how to properly floss your teeth. Your oral health is important to us and we want to be your friends and partners in keeping your teeth in excellent condition. Give us a call today if you have any questions at (303) 307-8282.