So, how do you floss correctly?
Dental floss is made of either a bundle of thin nylon filaments or a plastic (Teflon or polyethylene) ribbon used to remove food and dental plaque (see below!) from teeth. Correct flossing pulls harmful bacteria and food particles out from below the gums and massages the tissue. Bacteria are constantly accumulating on your teeth and gums. It takes a few hours for the bacteria to get ‘clingy’ enough to cause harm. The clingy film of bacteria and food is called plaque. So, brushing correctly a couple times a day plus flossing at least once a day seems to be enough to manage routine plaque build up.
Gum disease begins at the gum line and between teeth. Daily flossing is an important part of your oral health care routine to help remove the plaque from these areas where a toothbrush doesn’t completely reach. But to truly reap the benefits, you need to use proper flossing technique.
Four Key Elements Of Proper Flossing
- Wind: Wind 18 inches of floss around middle fingers of each hand. Pinch floss between thumbs and index fingers, leaving a one- to two-inch length in between. Use thumbs to direct floss between upper teeth.
- Guide: Keep a one- to two-inch length of floss taut between fingers. Use index fingers to guide floss between contacts of the lower teeth.
- Glide: Gently guide floss between the teeth by using a zig-zag motion. DO NOT SNAP FLOSS BETWEEN YOUR TEETH. Contour floss around the side of the tooth.
- Slide: Slide floss up and down against the tooth surface and under the gum line. Floss each tooth thoroughly with a clean section of floss.
This technique applies to any type of floss: waxed, unwaxed, spongy floss or dental tape. It doesn’t matter whether you start with your upper or lower teeth, or whether you start in the front or the back. Just make sure that you floss all your teeth, including the back side of the very last tooth on the left, right, top and bottom of your mouth. And don’t forget to floss under the gum line and along the sides of teeth that border any spaces where teeth are missing — food particles can become trapped in these spaces, too.
Our office would be happy to demonstrate proper flossing techniques ar assist you to achieve the best results with dental floss or the many other alternatives available! Please contact us if you have questions or concerns.
Yours for better dental health,
This information shared with you by Julie Gillis, DDS PC. Our office is located in Grand Junction, Colorado. We feel that your dental health is the top priority. and if we can make your smile more attractive while improving your health that is wonderful! Dr. Gillis practices restorative and cosmetic dentistry including porcelain veneers, tooth whitening, implants, crowns, bridges and periodontal care. Our office website is www.juliegillisds.com. For further information, please contact us at (970) 242-3635.
Yours for better health,
Julie Gillis, DDS, “Restoring Smiles, Restoring Health”