MAINTENANCE OF ORAL HYGIENE


FLOSSING BASICS

Oh the dreaded floss. We all know that we need to do it…everyday that is. So why don’t most people floss? It is a time-consuming task; however the benefits of flossing are MORE than worth the additional five minutes it takes to complete the tedious task.

So why floss your teeth?

  • Mouthwash and a toothbrush can’t reach every surface of your teeth! Flossing removes the food buildup and bacteria that is located between your teeth.
  • Most cavities arise from bacteria located between the teeth – This area is often overlooked. Many feel that if they can’t see it, then it isn’t a problem. However, if given the chance, microscopic bacteria can and will accumulate and begin the demineralization process of enamel slowly leading to cavities, pain, and bacterial invasion.
  • You don’t want bleeding gums do you? – Bleeding gums is a sign of inflammation! If you don’t floss regularly, you can expect some minor bleeding when you start out. But don’t quit. Bleeding gums indicates gingivitis, and even worse periodontitis. If severe enough, this will lead to recession of the gums and loose teeth. Flossing removes irritating bacteria from being allowed to infiltrate your gums and cause infection.

Proper steps to flossing

Choose your floss

Dispense the floss

Begin the flossing

Angle the floss correctly

Floss between all of your teeth

Always follow up with Brushing

  • Start off with a long strand of floss (around 15 inches or so) and wrap it around each middle finger
  • Use your index finger to guide the floss between your teeth
  • Once the strand of floss is between your teeth, follow the curvature of each tooth in an up and down motion about 2-3 times. Don’t be afraid to push the floss under the gums, this is a critical area that needs to be cleaned.
  • Remove floss and repeat with each tooth, making sure to use a clean section of the floss each time.

How often should I floss?

It’s best to floss a minimum of once a day.

I tried to floss and my gums started bleeding, should I stop? Is something wrong?

Do not stop. This is a sign of inflammation and indicates that you haven’t flossed in awhile. Continue to floss everyday and the bleeding will stop.