How to floss?

Older man flossing teeth in front of mirror, with text - Novato, CAFlossing can easily be passed off as a less important part of oral care. However, flossing is an essential habit that we should cultivate every day to maintain good oral health. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you floss your teeth at least once a day together with brushing your teeth, rinsing with a mouthwash and chewing sugar-free gum between meals. 

Why Is Flossing Essential?

Flossing goes hand in hand with the work you do when you brush your teeth and can lead to good dental health. The two actions are carried out to remove plaque off the surface of your teeth. Brushing removes it from the visible places but flossing is used to remove it from between your teeth. When plaque builds up, it can turn into tartar and eventually lead to gum disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss.

Flossing also helps to remove food particles from between the teeth. bacteria build up on these particles can lead to bad breath.

How to Floss The Right Way?

You can choose between two types of floss. There is a nylon floss or one made from filament. The nylon type can be bought with a mint flavor and a good choice for children. Filament floss is stronger than nylon but often costs more.

To begin the proper flossing technique, first, take a piece of dental floss about 18 inches long. Then wrap one end on each of your index fingers until you are left with a 2-inch section of floss. Some prefer to pinch the floss between their thumbs and index fingers others like to use their middle fingers. Then carefully slide the floss between your teeth using a saw motion. Don’t force the floss between the teeth as it could snap 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 around the teeth. Slide the floss deep into the gum line to clean even those hidden places. When you have finished the tooth adjust the floss to a new piece at 2” long to clean the next tooth. Repeat this process until you have cleaned all the teeth in your mouth.  Be sure to clean your hands before you floss to reduce the number of bacteria you transfer into your mouth.

Is It Better To Brush First or Floss First?

The simple answer is that it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you floss following the recommendations of doing so once a day along with tooth brushing twice a day. When you do this then you should be on your way to good oral health. Visits to the dentist twice a year are also important, as they will remove any buildup of plaque that you may have missed.

What If I’ve Neglected My Teeth Beyond Repair?

If you’ve lost any teeth due to gum disease or tooth decay then the surgeons at Novato Oral Surgery can help replace them. Operating from Novato, CA, in Marin County, the expert surgeons offer expert dental care such as dental implants to their patients throughout the San Francisco Bay area. They are highly recommended to replace missing teeth as they look and feel like natural teeth as well as maintaining natural function. Contact us now to make an appointment and see whether dental implants are for you.

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