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Don’t Forget to Floss

Woman Holding Floss

Using Floss Is Essential To Good Oral Health

Learn the benefits and proper technique.

With new state-of-the-art mechanical toothbrushes, you might feel that your teeth are cleaner than ever. So it might be tempting to skip the floss. However, if you forget this simple step, you’re doing your teeth a real disservice.

Benefits of Flossing

Even with perfect brushing, its impossible to get all the way in between teeth. In these hard to reach places, food particles and debris become trapped. Eventually, harmful bacteria begin to thrive. Without flossing, these conditions will lead to a buildup of plaque and tartar, leaving you at an increased risk for cavities and tooth decay. Furthermore, the health of your gums is affected as well. Proper flossing (combined with brushing) can help prevent periodontal (gum) disease.

Effective Flossing

To utilize floss correctly, use a piece that is approximately 18 inches long. Wrap the ends around the tip of each of your index fingers. Then, gently slide the floss between the teeth. Should this prove difficult, use a back and forth motion to work the floss down into the crevice. Never pull the floss forcefully toward your gums, as this can cause injury to the sensitive tissue. To clean each tooth, form a “C” shape around the edge while performing a slight up and down movement. Repeat in the opposite direction to clean the adjacent tooth, then move on to the next space.

If it’s been a while since you’ve had a good floss, it can be a little difficult, and your gums may be especially sensitive. However, with proper practice, it will become a natural part of your routine, and you’ll be well on your way to improved oral health!

About Dr. Sean Moran

Dr. Moran is a San Francisco native. He received his undergraduate degree at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He also received his DDS degree from Creighton University School of Dentistry in 1988 at which time he began practicing general dentistry in San Francisco.

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