Flossing via dental floss is an effective method of removing bacteria and plaque trapped between your teeth.  Flossing also helps remove plaque that may irritate your gums and cause bleeding gums and bone loss.  Without the use of dental floss, the plaque and bacteria trapped between your teeth can lead to tooth decay, gingivitis, and periodontal disease.

So how do I floss my teeth?  Why should I use dental floss?  Is it even necessary?  Many people grumble at the thought of having to floss.  It’s time consuming, cumbersome, and annoying to have to deal with that little string between your fingers and trying to get it between your teeth.  And half the time we don’t even know if it’s being done right.  I totally agree, it’s annoying to fiddle with that little string!

flossing

WHY DO I NEED TO FLOSS

But first though, we need to understand why we need to floss.  Brushing is great for removing bacteria/plaque from the outer surfaces of the teeth.  But what about the surfaces of the teeth that are touching other teeth and one another?  How do we get those areas cleaned?

The best and most effective way is by flossing.  It’s really THE best way to clean the area between the teeth.  The toothbrushes’ bristle unfortunately is not fine enough to get in between the teeth and remove all that plaque and food particles.  By placing dental floss between your teeth, one can ensure all of your teeth that’s hidden against each other are nice and clean.   Leaving plaque and bacteria there long term may cause severe gingivitis/gum disease, which may develop into periodontal disease, and ultimately may make your teeth prone to cavities, bone loss, and possible loss of teeth.

HOW TO FLOSS

How do we floss?  Wrap a piece of dental floss about 1 feet in length between your left and right index fingers.  With the aid of your thumb, gently press the floss between the teeth and glide the floss alongside the teeth.  Try to make sure the floss is not impinging onto the gums; then repeat for all of your teeth.

Ideally one should floss after each meal, but sometimes that’s not always practical or feasible.  I would strive for flossing at least once a day before going to bed.

A waterpick is a great addition to regular brushing and flossing.  A waterpick does not take the place of flossing and is not a substitute for flossing, but rather best served as an adjunct to brushing and flossing.

If you have any questions about flossing your teeth for your family Bellevue dentist, contact us at (425) 614-1600 today!

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