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Updated: May 21, 2022

Yes, flossing is an essential aspect of your at-home oral hygiene routine. It not only protects your teeth from getting cavities, it protects the gum tissue and bone surrounding your teeth.

#FLoss before you brush

“Our recommendation is to floss before you brush. This way you are mechanically removing as much harmful bacteria and food debris before brushing for a cleaner smile.”

There are several misconceptions on the proper technique to floss. First, many people believe that flossing is just about getting plaque and food debris out from in between your teeth. This is definitely true as removing plaque from in between your teeth would help in the prevention of cavities. However, flossing is just as important for our overall gum tissue health.

Your teeth are anchored into your jaw by the surrounding bone. The gums overlap the bone and has a natural pocket. Thus, flossing is important to get food debris from out of those natural forming pockets. If food debris, plaque, and bacteria accumulate in those pockets for prolonged periods of time, inflammation begins to occur - hence the bleeding while flossing. The bacteria insights an inflammatory reaction which begins to destroy the surrounding bone creating a deeper and deeper pocket. When the pockets get too deep, at-home care is less effective. The constant state of inflammation and bacteria leads to tooth loss, pain, and potential severe infections.

correct flossing technique

So how do I floss?

1. Gently thread the floss in between your teeth. Snapping the floss in between your teeth may cause a condition known as floss clefts - an indentation altering the natural harmonious architecture of the gingiva.

2. Wipe in between your teeth to remove harmful bacteria and food debris to help in the prevention of dental cavities.

3. Adapt the floss to one of the teeth and gently wipe into the natural forming pocket of your gums. After wiping approximately 6 times, adapt the floss to the other tooth and wipe into the natural forming pocket of the other side. Wipe approximately 6 more times.

4. Remove the floss and gently move on to the next space.

Taking some time to master flossing can significantly improve your oral health. Eventually, flossing will become second nature and you'll be on your way to an improved smile!

at-home care

Dental care is a team-based approach between the patient and the dental team. At-home care is critical to the prosperity of our oral health. Feel free to contact us for any additional information or general questions pertaining to your oral health and needs.

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