The Proper Flossing Technique
Most cavities and periodontal
disease begin between the teeth. While brushing is important, the bristles of
your brush simply can't reach between the teeth.
To keep your gums and teeth healthy, you must remove the plaque between your teeth at least once a day. That's why our Houston dentist recommends dental floss.
Don't worry about the type of floss; they all work pretty much the same.
Wind about 18 inches of floss around
the middle fingers of each hand, leaving about 5 inches between your hands.
Pinch the floss between your thumbs and index fingers and leave about one inch
in between to work with. Gently guide the floss down between the teeth, using a
If your teeth are too tight to floss, or if the floss catches or tears,
let our Houston dentist know about it. These are problems that need to
Pull the floss tightly into a C shape around the side of the tooth and slide
it under the gum line. Clean the surface of the tooth by using an up-and-down
motion, not side-to-side, until the surface is clean.
When all the plaque has been removed, the floss will squeak as it rubs
against your teeth. Pull the floss around the next tooth and repeat the
process. Wind the floss to a fresh section and gradually work your way around
your mouth, cleaning both sides of every tooth.
If you have problems reaching
some areas, you might want to use a floss fork. If your gums are infected,
they'll bleed when you floss. That's to be expected if you are just beginning
to floss. After a week or so of regular flossing the bleeding should go away.
Now you know why brushing your teeth is only half the battle. Most cavities
and periodontal disease start between the teeth where your toothbrush just
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