Flossing is an essential part of the tooth-cleaning process because it breaks up and removes plaque from between teeth and at the gumline, where periodontal disease often begins. Most cavities and periodontal disease begin between the teeth. While brushing is important, the bristles of your brush simply can’t reach between the teeth. Did you know that without flossing, 40% of the surfaces of your teeth are NEVER clean?
To keep your gums and teeth healthy, you must floss at least once a day.
Benefits of flossing:
Decreased risk of gum disease
Removes plaque in between teeth
Polishes tooth surfaces
How to Floss:
Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around the middle finger of one hand and the rest around the other middle finger. If the floss is hard to get between your teeth, try using dental tape, which is thinner.
Holding the floss between your thumbs and forefingers, guide it between two teeth by gently rubbing it back and forth.
When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it around one of the teeth and gently slide it back and forth in the crevice between the tooth and the gum.
Holding the floss tightly against the side of the tooth, rub gently up and down.
Repeat for each tooth, including the backside of your last teeth, changing to a different part of the floss as you go along.
Excuses for Not Flossing:
1. My Gums Bleed……….this is a sign you REALLY need to start flossing because you have an infection in your gums.
2. I get my teeth professional cleaned twice a year, so I don’t have to brush or floss…plaque can turn to hard calculus in less than 2 days…daily cleaning is needed to keep your teeth clean.
3. No time to floss? ..Floss your upper teeth in the morning, lower teeth in the evening
4. My teeth are too tight for the floss….try a polymer floss that is ADA approved or use the flosser.
5. I’m afraid of damaging my gums when I floss…the technique is so important….remember to slide the floss between the gum and teeth with light pressure.
Don’t be discouraged with your first attempts at flossing, you will improve with time and practice!
Your gums may bleed and be sore the first few days that you floss however they will heal and stop bleeding in a couple of days once the bacteria are removed.
Flossing disturbs bacteria and stops it before it can create plaque and cause gum and bone disease. Floss once a day for a healthier set of teeth and gums.
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