We’ve all heard it. Flossing is an essential part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
Recap. Flossing, once each day, is an essential part of plaque control, and is targeting the 40% of tooth surface that cannot be reached by your toothbrush.
Flossing does more than just remove food stuck between the teeth. In fact, its main function is to disturb plaque bacteria from tooth surfaces that are inaccessible by your toothbrush.
Plaque bacteria are a normal part of the oral flora, however if left undisturbed, plaque bacteria form mature, complex biofilms on the teeth. These are difficult to remove, and can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease.
The easiest way to combat plaque is with the f-word, flossing.
If you’re willing to make flossing your secret weapon to pristine oral health, here are a few tips to make sure that you are doing things correctly:
1. Use around 18 inches of floss wound around your middle finger, with the rest wound around the opposite middle finger.
2. Pinch the floss tightly between thumbs and forefingers and gently insert it between your teeth, using a gentle shoeshine motion
3. When the floss reaches the gum line, curve the floss into a “C” shape against the side of the tooth.
4. Move the floss gently down the tooth, and then back up from between the teeth, keeping it pressed against the tooth.
5. Floss all your teeth. Don’t forget to floss behind your back teeth as well. These are the most commonly missed places.
For people with unique tooth shapes, alignments, and gums, there are a number of specialized flossing solutions. Ask Dr.Joslin at GRAFT Periodontics what’s best for your teeth.