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Back to Basics: The Right Way to Floss

Back to Basics: The Right Way to Floss

the right way to flossFlossing is one of the most effective way to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth. Dental floss reaches those corners of the mouth that toothbrushes don’t. As important as it is, unfortunately many people don’t know the right way to floss or when do it.

According to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association,  it is best to floss, brush, then rinse with a mouthwash. That’s right; floss your teeth BEFORE your brush them. Why? You floss to remove food and plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria that sits on your teeth, before the plaque has a chance to harden into calculus or tartar.  You then brush the food particles and plaque away with the toothbrush.

The American Dental Association recommends you floss at least once a day.   Skipping even just one day can give the bacteria a chance to flourish.

You have to make sure you’re flossing effectively, though.  You shouldn’t just slide the floss up and down between your teeth.  Instead, take about an 18-inch section of floss and curl it around each tooth in a C-shape, moving it up and down to scrape the side of each tooth and sliding it gently under the gum line.  After you finish with one tooth, use a clean section of floss to scrape the next tooth; otherwise, you’re just moving the bacteria from one place to another.

We don’t recommend adults use floss picks, because they typically do not give you enough floss to clean all sections with one use.  However, we do recommend floss picks for kids, IF regular floss is too difficult for them to use. Teaching children the importance of brushing and flossing while they’re young will instill great oral hygiene habits for years to come.

Do you know the right way to floss? Talk to our hygienists about it. We would be happy to show you our easy flossing techniques that will keep your teeth looking their best.

Contact THE SCIENCE OF SMILES today: 626-795-0221