Don’t Forget to Floss

Flossing is an integral part of your oral health regimen:  however, many people do not spend enough time flossing their teeth, or they do not floss at all.  By flossing just once a day, you can decrease your risk of gum disease and increase your chances of maintaining good oral health throughout your lifetime.

Brushing cleans the tops and sides of your teeth, but flossing cleans in between teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach.  Dental floss removes plaque and debris that adhere to teeth and gums.  it also helps to polish tooth surfaces and control bad breath.  You should floss your teeth for 2-3 minutes at least once a day.  The best time to floss is right before bed, but you can incorporate it into any part of your daily routine that’s convenient.

Take an 18 inch piece of floss and wrap the bulk of it lightly around your middle finger.  Wind the rest of the floss around your middle finger on the opposite hand, and use this finger to take up the floss as it becomes soiled or frayed.  Do not rub the floss from side to side.  Instead, create a “C” on the side of each tooth.  Make sure to floss below the gum line.  Flossing should not be painful, but you may experience some discomfort or bleeding when you first start.  These side effects should subside in a week or two as you continue to floss.  If it does not, please talk to one of our Hygienist or Doctors at your next visit.

There are a variety of flosses available, and all of them do a similar job of removing plaque.  Wide floss, or dental tape, may be beneficial for those with a lot of bridge work or spacing between their teeth, while waxed floss may be easier to fit between tight teeth and restorations.  Unwaxed floss makes a squeaking sound to let you know when your teeth are clean.  Waxed floss does not fray as easily as unwaxed floss.

Another option is pre-threaded flossers or floss holders.  These are useful for those with limited dexterity, those just learning to floss, or caretakers who are flossing someone else’s teeth.  If you have children, you should start flossing their teeth as soon as they have two teeth contacting each other, and floss holders are very good for children to learn with.  If you have any additional questions about flossing or the type of floss best for you, please feel free to ask Dr. Freeman or Dr. Scott or any of our talented Hygiene Staff at your next cleaning!

 

 

Who Makes You Smile?
Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates
3290 Church Road
Henrico, VA  23233
804-270-3080

 

 

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