How to Floss Teeth Properly

Older man flossing teeth in front of mirror, with text - Fairfield, CAFlossing can easily be left out of our daily oral hygiene routine, perhaps seen as a less essential task. However, flossing is one of the four important daily habits required to maintain good oral health. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you floss at least once a day along with brushing, rinsing with a mouthwash, and chewing sugar-free gum between meals. 

Why Is Flossing Essential?

Flossing compliments the work you do when you brush your teeth. Both actions are performed to remove plaque off the surface of your teeth. Brushing targets the plaque in those visible places but flossing is used to remove the plaque between your teeth. Excessive plaque build up can turn into tartar and eventually lead to periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease. If left untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss.

How to Floss Correctly?

There are two general types of floss and both are effective. You may choose one made from nylon or filament. The nylon type is often flavored with flavors such as mint and a good choice for children. The filament type is stronger than nylon and doesn’t split as easily but often is a bit more expensive. It doesn’t matter which type of floss you use, they’re both effective.

To begin flossing, first take a piece of floss about 18” long and wrap one end on each of your index fingers until you are left with 2” that’s not been used. Carefully slide the piece between your teeth using a saw motion. Don’t be tempted to force the piece between the teeth as it’s likely to jolt through and bruise or cut the gum. Once the floss is between the teeth, curve the floss into a ‘C’ shape, and using the same saw motion slide the floss over the teeth to remove the plaque. Be sure to go deep into the gum line to remove any plaque from those hidden places. After each tooth adjust the floss to a new piece at 2” long to clean the next tooth. Repeat this process at least once a day.

Is It Better To Brush First or Floss First?

The simple answer is that it doesn’t matter. Both actions are used to remove plaque, with each one targeting different areas. The important thing is that you floss following the recommendations of doing so once a day along with tooth brushing twice a day. Then you should be on your way to good oral health. Don’t forget to schedule a visit to the dentist twice a year as they will remove any buildup of plaque that you may have missed.

What If I have Neglected My Teeth Beyond Repair?

If you have lost any teeth due to gum disease then the surgeons at Fairfield Oral Surgery and Implantology can help replace them. Operating from Fairfield, CA, the expert surgeons offer dental implants to patients throughout Solano County. They are excellent replacements for missing teeth as they look and feel like natural teeth as well as maintaining natural function. Book now to make an appointment and see whether dental implants are for you.

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