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Proper Flossing Technique

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Forest Smiles – The Best Dentist in Lynchburg, VA

Learning the proper way to floss your teeth and finding the right technique is essential for good oral hygiene.  The reason why we floss is to serve as a compliment to regular brushing of your teeth.  Sometimes when we brush, we miss the plaque and food particles that get caught between our teeth in under the gum line.  If these particles do not get removed by flossing, the bacteria that makes up plaque will attack the enamel in your teeth or reach deeper into the gums.   This can lead to more serious problems such as gum disease and tooth decay.  Flossing will also help to conserve and prolong the life span of your teeth.  Proper oral hygiene doesn’t just help with the mouth, but in all facets of your overall health.

 

To achieve the highest results when flossing it is a good idea to learn and study how exactly to floss.  Below are the steps to proper floss technique:

– Choose your floss wisely.  There are two major types of floss: Nylon based and Monofilament floss.  Nylon is the more common and less expensive type of floss.  You can buy it waxed and un-waxed. depending on your preference.  The monofilament floss is a bit more durable and won’t shred as quickly as nylon.

 

– Cut the right amount of floss and wrap correctly.  The recommended length is 18 inches.  That should be sufficient to wrap both index fingers to make the floss taut.  Adjust accordingly for larger fingers.  Make sure to hold the floss between your thumb and index fingers for a nice firm grip.

 

– Gentle sliding motions.  Once you’ve designated an area to start, push the taut floss between two teeth and the gum line separating them.  Make sure to do this gently.  Push the floss up and down.  When you reach the gums try to make a motion tracing the letter “C”.   When not hitting the gums, simultaneously and gently move your floss up and down and side to side

 

– Make sure you use clean sections of floss from tooth to tooth.  You should have enough slack to comfortably move to each tooth using a clean section.

 

– Remove the floss the same way it went in.  The up and down motion you used to get into the teeth, should be the same way you exit.

 

Be sure to keep this guide in mind when flossing to reduce the negative effects of improper flossing technique.  Improper technique when flossing can cause soft tissue damage in the gums or even bone damage.  It may cause your gums to be infected and lead to gum disease.   For further information on proper flossing technique speak to your local dental professional.

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