If you’re like many people when you go in for your six month dentist visit for cleaning, your dentist asks you if you’ve been flossing and you cringe just a little as you answer “Well, sometimes.” Though your dentist will explain the detriment of not flossing to you at this time you’ll likely put that information on the back burner only to pull it out intermittently over the next few weeks. Though flossing is not the final answer for smile perfection, it does account for up to 40% of the heavy lifting during your daily dental hygiene routine.

Even the foremost toothbrush can only properly clean three surfaces of your precious teeth; that leaves two surfaces unaccounted for. Stray debris left by forgotten flossing regimes can case cause acid that results in plaque that may lead to cavities and gum disease. Plaque contains bacteria that feeds upon the residual debris. As harmful as it is unsightly, most cases of plaque can easily be prevented with regular flossing.

Between choosing the right floss, learning the correct flossing procedure, and figuring out when to floss, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Contrary to the belief of some, your dentist is there to make your life easier. We are happy to help make flossing a fun and easy part of your dental routine.

Chances are the floss tucked away in your medicine cabinet is an unwaxed soft, nylon thread, but floss can range from the basic soft thread to thin, wide dental tape. Waxed floss is less likely to break and fray than basic unwaxed dental floss, but may be more difficult to get into tight spaces. Dental tape is more broad and flat than basic floss and is most effective for cleaning tight spaces. Double-pronged floss holders are convenient especially for those with dexterity trouble, but are not as effective as other methods because of limited range of movement. If you were still unsure about which type of floss is best for you, we are happy to help you pick the best floss for your needs.

Flossing at least once a day can make all the difference in your hygiene and health. Use correct technique to get the most out of your flossing routine. With a gentle sawing motion, guide the floss between your teeth toward your gums. Curve the floss into a C against one of the teeth. Use the same gentle rubbing motion to clean and polish both sides of each tooth. If you’re just beginning to floss, some bleeding at your gum line may be normal. Contact your dentist if the bleeding persists beyond a week.

Brush twice a day and floss at least once a day has been proven time and again to be the most effective method to keep your smile sparkling and gums healthy. If you need more information on proper flossing procedures and its benefits, please contact our knowledgeable staff at Old Town Smiles to get your questions answered.

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