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Tips on Flossing


woman flossingFlossing is an essential part of a healthy dental hygiene routine. Yet, it's something that most people tend to overlook or completely ignore. Whether due to time constraints or simply because it feels like a tedious task, many people don't floss as often as they should. But according to our team at Gresham Dental Excellence regular flossing can contribute to a lifetime of healthier teeth and gums, so understanding proper technique and integrating it into your daily habits is key.

At Gresham Dental Excellence, we recommend the following flossing tips to our patients for healthy gums and teeth.

Use Right Technique and Frequency


At Gresham Dental Excellence, we recommend that flossing should be done once a day using the proper technique. To floss effectively, break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the rest around the same finger on the other hand. Then, hold the floss tightly between the thumbs and forefingers and gently insert it between the teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Glide the floss up and down against the tooth surface and under the gum line to remove plaque and food particles we recommends repeating this process for each tooth, using a clean section of floss every time.

Floss Before Brushing


You can floss at any time of day, as long as it is once daily. However, we recommend flossing before brushing to dislodge plaque and debris and to ensure that fluoride from toothpaste can reach all surfaces of the teeth. You should spend at least two to three minutes flossing every day to ensure that you are cleaning between all teeth and under the gum line.

Use Type of Floss as Per Your Needs


Usually, the type of floss you should use depends on the spacing between your teeth, the shape of your teeth, and any gum sensitivity you might have. Waxed floss will move more easily between tightly spaced teeth, while unwaxed floss is better for teeth with more space between them.

If you have sensitive gums, you can use an extra-soft floss option. Threaders and interdental brushes are helpful for people with braces or other orthodontic appliances.

Use a New Section for Each Tooth


If you are new to flossing, do not push yourself too hard; take your time, and learn the best techniques as you go along. Once you become more adept at flossing your teeth, it will become easier and take less time.

Do Not Snap


Many people think that "snapping" the floss between their teeth is more effective, but it can actually damage the gum tissue and cause bleeding. Instead, use a gentle back-and-forth motion to ease the floss between your teeth and under the gum line to ensure effective cleaning without hurting your gums.

Don't Forget Your Gums


Flossing is not only for cleaning between teeth, but it's also important to clean under the gum line, where food particles and plaque can accumulate. However, when flossing under the gum line, it's crucial to be gentle to avoid injuring the gums. We suggest using a gentle up-and-down motion to clean the space between the gum and tooth, ensuring to avoid forcing the floss or snapping it down into the gums.




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Gresham Dental Excellence, 490 East Powell Blvd, Gresham, OR 97030 ~ (971) 431-7292 ~ greshamdentalexcellence.com ~ 5/25/2024 ~ Tags: dentist Gresham OR ~