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Proper Flossing Techniques for Maximum Oral Health

September 24, 2016

Mother and daughter flossingFlossing tends to be the at-home dental practice that patients neglect most often, but it is essential to protect against tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing alone doesn’t access the spaces between teeth or below the gum line. Flossing is the best way to prevent plaque buildup in these hard to reach dental nooks and crannies. When done properly every day, flossing makes your teeth feel cleaner, freshens breath, and leaves you with healthier looking teeth and gums. Take a step toward extraordinary dental health – start flossing or flossing better today. Call Dr. Janet Tamo and her caring team to find out more about best practices in at-home oral health care, or to schedule your Canadian Dental Association (CDA) recommended twice annual checkup today.

Choosing the Right Dental Floss for Your Smile

Every patient is unique, and their dental hygiene routine should be too. When it comes to choosing teeth cleaning instruments, look for the CDA Seal. You may be surprised to hear that the CDA only places their seal of approval on two types of dental floss: Oral-B Glide and Satin Floss. These two types of floss offer adequate care for any occlusion. Glide floss is a PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) based floss. PTFE flosses are made from a solid fiber, and are beneficial for patients with narrow spaces between teeth or crowding. Satin floss is referred to as a “super floss.” These thick, fibrous types of dental floss are excellent for cleaning between teeth with large gaps. If you’re unsure which type of floss best suits your dentition, consider purchasing both, and test each type for one week.

Flossing Fundamentals

Patients who complain about or avoid flossing all together typically say the same thing: flossing hurts. When done right, flossing should feel great. If you’ve chosen a floss that fits your smile, getting started is a snap.

  • Snap off 18 inches of floss.
  • Wind the majority of floss around one finger and just enough to anchor the floss around the other.
  • Leave 2 to 3 inches open for flossing.
  • Gently insert the floss between two teeth being sure to go all the way below the gum line.
  • Curve the floss around the tooth form a “C.”
  • Shift the “C” shaped floss gently back and forth below the gum line to loosen plaque.
  • Move the “C” shape around the opposite tooth.
  • Remove floss from between teeth, and wind floss from the “heavy” side to the “light” side revealing clean floss.
  • Repeat for both sides of each tooth.
  • When finished, swish warm water or a fluoride mouth wash for 30 seconds to remove loosened bacteria.

The most important element of flossing is consistency. Don’t get discouraged. Even if you don’t feel you’re doing a great job or noticing improvement, the effects of flossing are cumulative, and by establishing the habit of daily flossing, you gradually improve the health of your smile.

Schedule Your Hygiene Appointment Today

Dr. Tamo and her Toronto dentistry staff are here to help you achieve the optimal level of dental health. Call to schedule a checkup and hygiene appointment today. We look forward to serving you soon.

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