Flossing your teeth daily is a critical part of preventive dental care. Flossing helps remove food particles and plaque that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, which in turn can cause tooth loss. Flossing takes only a few minutes, but can make the difference between keeping your teeth or losing them. Doesn’t it make sense to floss right?
When to Floss
Ideally, you should floss whenever you brush your teeth (for most people, a minimum of twice a day). If this is impossible or impractical, you should at least floss before retiring at night. Floss after brushing to dislodge any food particles that your brush may have missed. (Rinse your mouth thoroughly after flossing to remove loosened debris.)
How to Floss
Wrap most of a 1-2 foot length of dental floss around the middle- or forefinger of one hand, and the remainder around the same finger on the opposite hand. Hold a 1″ section of floss between your thumbs and forefingers and use a gentle, sawing motion to slide the floss between two teeth.
At the gum line, gently slide the floss around the bottom of your tooth until you feel resistance. Use an up and down motion to wipe plaque from the side of the tooth. Repeat on the adjacent tooth.
Remove the floss, unwind another 1″ length and repeat on your remaining teeth.