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A Complete Guide to Flossing Teeth

October 12, 2023
A Complete Guide to Flossing Teeth

Flossing plays a vital role in your dental hygiene routine as it effectively eliminates plaque from the spaces between your teeth and along the gum line. Since tooth decay and gum disease often originate in these areas, flossing is crucial to good oral health.

Plaque harbors bacteria that thrive on leftover food particles and sugars in your mouth. The harmful bacteria release acids that erode the outer layer of your teeth, leading to cavities and potential gum issues.

Here at Advanced Dentistry of Stockbridge, we emphasize the significance of proper dental care education. We recommend a routine of brushing and flossing twice a day. Check out our helpful flossing guide below.

Choosing the Best Floss

The most effective flossing begins with choosing the best floss for your needs and preferences. There are many options:

  • Thread floss—made from approximately 35 strands of nylon twisted together
  • Waxed and unwaxed floss—waxed floss is recommended for individuals with little space in between their teeth as it glides between the teeth better
  • Flavored and unflavored floss– floss can be found in various flavors including mint and cinnamon
  • Tape floss is also known as dental tape—better for widely spaced teeth, and it won't fray
  • Super flosses—ideal for patients with braces, bridges, or other appliances

What to Watch for When Flossing

No matter what type of floss you use, check with your dentist if you notice any of these symptoms during or after flossing:

  • Painful, swollen,bleeding, or red gums
  • Gum or tooth sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Discharge or pus around the gums or teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • An unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Changes in the alignment of your top teeth and bottom teeth
  • Evidence that your gums are pulling away from your teeth—it might appear that your teeth are longer

 Steps for Effective Flossing

The American Dental Association offers these essential steps for effective flossing:

Use approximately 18 inches of dental floss. Wind most of the strand around one of your middle fingers, and then wind the remaining portion around the corresponding finger of your opposite hand. It will take up the used floss as it accumulates debris.

Hold the floss securely between your thumbs and forefingers.

With a gentle back-and-forth rubbing motion, guide the floss between your teeth. Avoid snapping it into the gums, as this can cause discomfort.

When the floss gets to the gum line, shape it into a C against a single tooth. Gently slide the floss into the space between the gum and the tooth.

As the floss reaches the gum line, shape it into a C against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the tooth and the gum.

Press the floss against the tooth and gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum using up and down motions. Repeat this process for all your teeth, including the back side of your last tooth.

Discard the used floss. Reusing floss isn't as effective as a new strand and can leave bacteria in your mouth. After flossing, you should also be sure to brush your teeth or rinse with water to rid your mouth of any excess debris and plaque.

Let Advanced Dentistry of Stockbridge Help Improve Your Dental Health

While flossing is an integral part of your dental hygiene routine, it should also be paired with regular visits to your dentist. At Advanced Dentistry of Stockbridge, we can help with all your dental health needs, from routine to cosmetic. Call 770-389-0389 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.

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Advanced Dentistry of Stockbridge
200 Medical Way
Stockbridge, GA 30281
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200 Medical Way Stockbridge, GA 30281