Scraping When You Floss Gets the Most Debris Off Your Teeth
Posted on 10/19/2020 by Karl Olson
The ADA urges our patients to floss daily as part of a healthy oral care regimen. However, improperly flossing can be as bad as – if not worse than – not flossing at all. Merely running the floss up and down the gap is inefficient at removing harmful particles. And flossing too aggressively can damage the gums. Our professionals recommend that our patients hold the floss in a c-shape and scrape the side of each tooth to maximize the benefits of flossing.
Proper Flossing Technique
When using dental floss, patients should use 18 to 24 inches. After wrapping the floss or tape around their fingers, there should be about 2 inches ready to use for flossing. There should be no slack in the floss. Without gliding the floss into the gums, patients should scrape one side of the tooth, then the other side. Patients are urged to use a c-shaped motion in the area where the gums meet the teeth. Patients are also advised to use a new section of floss for each gap.
Benefits of Proper Flossing
Proper flossing removes food debris, plaque, and harmful bacteria that a toothbrush alone cannot reach. One immediate benefit is a whiter smile due to the reduction of plaque and food particles. Flossing correctly also reduces instances of bad breath due to the absence of rotting food particles and the harmful bacteria that are drawn to them. Flossing can also minimize the risk of periodontitis, and this in turn reduces the risk of a patient developing a heart disease or a respiratory disorder. And flossing correctly can prevent diabetes since the harmful bacteria that flossing removes would otherwise cause imbalances with the body's glucose levels.
If you have questions about your flossing habits and how to improve them, give us a call. We can set up a consult or a regular appointment.
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