Are You Flossing the Right Way?

Every time you visit the dentist, you probably hear, “Have you been flossing regularly?” The next question after the dentist gets a good look inside your mouth, may be, “But are you flossing the right way?”

If you’re flossing, but you aren’t doing it right, odds are, you aren’t removing all of that plaque that tends to build up. Flossing regularly using the proper technique helps to remove the buildup of plaque that can lead to tartar – and eventually, many other problems in your mouth like gum disease and even tooth loss.

Many people don’t realize just how important proper flossing is and how it affects your overall dental health. Floss is designed to clean those tight spaces in between the teeth and the gap between the base of the teeth and gums – areas where a toothbrush can’t reach.

When visiting the best dentist in Stuart, you’ll be shown the right way to floss to help prevent all sorts of dental issues. In the meantime, to keep those teeth and gums as healthy as you should be, follow these instructions. Then, at your next checkup you can verify with the dentist or hygienist that you’re flossing correctly.

Type of floss

According to the ADA, the best type of floss is the floss that you prefer as you’ll be more likely to use it. Waxed or unwaxed, there is no difference in the effectiveness either way.

When to floss

The ADA recommends flossing once a day. It doesn’t matter whether you floss before or after brushing your teeth as long as you do a thorough job.

The right way to floss

The Dental Hygienists Association and the best dentist in Stuart recommends the follow steps for proper flossing:

Wind about 18” of floss around the middle fingers of each hand and then pinch the floss between your thumbs and index fingers. There should be about a one- to two-inch gap in between. Use your thumbs to direct floss between your upper teeth, keeping about a one- to two-inch length of floss taut between your fingers. Use your index fingers to help guide the floss between your lower teeth. Gently guide the floss between your teeth in a zig-zag motion. Gently wrap it around the side of your tooth and then slide the floss up and down against the surface of the tooth, and underneath the gum line. Floss each tooth thoroughly, using a clean section of floss each time.

If you find it to be too difficult to floss properly be sure to ask your dental hygienist at the best dentist in Stuart about dental floss holders or interdental cleaning devices that are available to make things easier.

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