Best Way to Floss

Best Way to Floss

One of the best ways to ensure a lifetime of good dental health is by maintaining good oral hygiene. Regular dental cleanings, brushing after meals and flossing every day can all help prevent such common problems as tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss and other dental diseases.

Many people are aware that daily brushing is essential for removing plaque and bacteria, but one survey found that fewer than half of Americans floss every day. Daily flossing is critical to removing the plaque that can form along the gumline and in between the teeth. Proper flossing includes several steps.

1. Dental floss should be made of either plastic or nylon ribbon and can be either waxed or unwaxed. Many find that the waxed style is easier to slide.

2. Begin flossing by pulling 18 inches of floss out and wrapping one end around your index finger until you have just an inch or so between your fingers.

3. Slide the floss gently between two teeth, and glide it back and forth all the way to the gumline, cleaning carefully beneath the gumline as well.

4. Unwrap clean floss and repeat the process for each new set of teeth.

5. Dental flossers or floss picks may be used instead of dental floss, but they will need to be rinsed after each tooth.

Daily flossing will reduce the risk of gingivitis and periodontitis, or gum disease. If flossing is painful or causes bleeding, your gums may be inflamed. Daily flossing will remove the plaque and bacteria that are infecting the gums and will create a healthier oral environment. If bleeding or pain continues, contact our Los Angeles dentist to schedule a dental cleaning and exam to determine the source of the problem.