Does flossing daily seem like a tedious, unnecessary task? Do you rarely or never floss? Perhaps you should understand how important flossing is. Brushing alone cannot remove all of the food debris and plaque that hides between your teeth. When you don’t floss, you put yourself at risk for gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.
Follow these steps for easy flossing (and healthy teeth and gums!):
1) Take an 18” piece of floss and wrap it around the middle finger of one hand, then wrap the rest around the middle finger of the other hand.
2) To clean upper teeth, tightly hold the ends of the floss between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Gently insert the floss tightly between teeth and then move it back and forth motion. Be careful not to force the floss or snap it into place, as that can damage gums. Move the floss up and down the side of one tooth and then the other.
3) Between cleaning each tooth, turn the floss from one finger to the other to get a fresh section.
4) Follow the same technique for your bottom teeth, but guide the floss with your forefingers.
5) Thoroughly rinse your mouth with water to remove loose plaque and food debris.
You may notice some slight gum bleeding or soreness for the first week of flossing. This is perfectly normal. If you notice more than a little bleeding or it lasts for a longer period of time, consult your dentist because it could be a sign of gum disease.
When you use the proper techniques for flossing and brushing, and when you keep regular six-month dental cleanings, you can keep your smile healthy and beautiful. For an even more beautiful smile, Dr. Fondriest offers cosmetic services that include porcelain crowns, porcelain veneers, and home whitening.