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Dental Health 101: Proper Flossing Technique

Dr. Hellwig May 7, 2016

A woman using dental flossWhen it comes to great dental health, it's important that you practice the basics of good oral hygiene. Dr. Peter Hellwig always stresses the basics to his patients, and has built a strong reputation in San Diego as a leader in advanced general dentistry and preventative dental care.

When patients visit, we always stress the importance of brushing and floss. Some patients don't floss properly, which can lead to problems. Let's offer some pointers on flossing so you can have a healthy and beautiful smile.

Flossing Is Essential for a Beautiful Smile

If you want to have a healthy and beautiful smile, it's of the utmost importance that you floss regularly. Proper brushing and flossing will help remove food particles and plaque buildup between the teeth, a common area that your toothbrush alone cannot access and clean.

By flossing and then brushing your teeth, you can prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and a host of other serious dental health problems.

How Often Should I Floss?

You should floss your teeth at least once a night to help remove a day's worth of food and plaque. For the best possible dental health, you should floss and brush your teeth after every meal.

Proper Flossing Technique

To floss properly, it's important that you gently get the floss between your teeth and then work slowly up and down, bracing the sides of each tooth to help remove as much potential matter as possible. It's important to also get the backs of the molars with floss since this is a difficult part of the mouth to clean with a toothbrush.

Patients should wind some floss around the index fingers of each hand to ensure proper ability to clean away plaque and food particles.

What Happens When Someone Flosses Improperly

Many people floss improperly, which typically means snapping the floss down hard or working the floss back and forth as if it were a saw. This can lead to serious damage to the gums and the gumline. Your gums may bleed or feel tender and sore if you do not floss properly. Over time, this can lead to gum recession.

Special Flossing Tools for People with Braces

If you have braces, regular flossing can be quite difficult. This is why the use of threaders is so important to consider. These floss threaders will give you the ability to work through the brackets and wires and floss your teeth as you normally would.

Special Flossing Tools for Dental Implants

For people who have dental implants, there is special bridge and implant floss available. This kind of floss is soft so patients can work in and around the implant down to the gumline without harming the gum tissue. Be sure to brush and floss regularly.

Brush Your Teeth as Well

After flossing, it's always best to brush your teeth. This helps clear away the rest of the plaque and food particles that may remain after you have cleaned your teeth. Consider this an optimal method of keeping your teeth clean, your gums healthy, and your breath fresh.

Learn More About Good Oral Hygiene and Dental Health

For more information about flossing and other matters linked to your dental health and hygiene, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Peter Hellwig and the entire team here looks forward to your visit and helping you have the healthiest smile possible.

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