Flossing Is Essential To Your Oral Hygiene

Do you floss your teeth every day? When some of our patients first come to visit their family dentist in Vancouver WA, they admit that they only floss sometimes or not at all. Flossing isn’t just for show; it’s an important part of oral hygiene. Flossing regularly helps prevent decay and keeps your teeth looking shiny and clean.

Why You Should Floss Your Teeth

Your teeth have five surfaces: the top, the front, the back, and the two sides. Your toothbrush can’t reach between your teeth, so brushing only cleans three of these surfaces. Dental floss cleans between your teeth and removes any bacteria that might be hiding there.

Dental floss also lets you clean under the edges of your gums. When plaque is stuck to your gums, they can become inflamed and swollen. Floss gets under the edges and removes plaque from every place your toothbrush might not be able to reach.

How to Floss Your Teeth

Before you learn how to floss your teeth, find a floss that you like. Waxed flosses are gentler on your mouth, but some people prefer an unwaxed variety. You can also get plain or mint flavored floss.

Start with a very long piece of floss, around 18 inches. Wrap both ends of the floss around your left and right index fingers and pull it taught.

Thread the floss into the space between two of your teeth and slowly move it back and forth and up and down. Use the floss to scrape the edges of your teeth. Curve the floss and move it along the base of each tooth, paying careful attention to the gum line.

Repeat this process for each of your teeth. Remember to use a clean section of the floss for each tooth; you don’t want to spread bacteria from one tooth to the next.

Don’t worry if your gums bleed a little, especially the first time you floss. Cleaning the plaque from your teeth will reduce swelling and prevent bleeding in the future. If they bleed significantly or for several days, contact your dentist.

If you have any questions or would like more flossing advice, reach out to Island Family Dental. We’re the best family dentist in Vancouver WA, and we’ll be happy to address any of your concerns. Book an appointment with us today!

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