We have all heard from our dentist and hygienist how important it is to floss our teeth, but is it really necessary?  Flossing is an important part of helping you to have good oral hygiene and should be done daily along with brushing your teeth two times a day.  Not flossing leaves you vulnerable to gingivitis, which can progress to periodontal disease which can cause tooth loss, and you may get cavities between your teeth if you don’t floss.

How Do I Floss?

• Use about 16 inches of floss and wrap it around your middle finger of one hand and the rest around your other middle finger.

• Grasp the floss between your thumb and forefinger and guide it between your teeth.

• Form a “C” with the floss at the gum line and hug the tooth with it, which is following the • Hold the strand of floss firmly against the tooth and move it gently up and down.

• Do this for all your teeth including the very back side of your last tooth.

• Don’t forget to use fresh sections of floss as you are flossing your teeth.

• If you are have difficulty flossing, talk to your dentist and hygienists about this.

Tools to Help When Flossing

• Wax and Unwaxed Floss

• Flossers (plastic Y shaped disposable flosser)

• Proxy brushes

• Water Pik

• Super Floss for patients in Ortho (braces)

Flossing your teeth helps to get in between your teeth and underneath your gums to remove any plaque and food that might be trapped there.  Initially when you begin to floss, you may see your gums bleed a little.  Don’t let this discourage you because this is normal in the beginning and your gums may even be a little tender from flossing.  Stick with it because it will help to improve your overall hygiene.  I tell my patients to remember to “floss the teeth you want to keep”!  I hope this Tooth Talk has helped to shed some light on the importance of flossing your teeth daily.  If you have any questions please call my office or email me dr.jmitchell@integritydentalcares.com, Integrity Dental Care, PLLC, (615) 445-8700.