Floss your way to healthy teeth

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Flossing is important. You have heard that repeatedly from all dental professionals, your mom, aunt, uncle, grandma, hah! But, it is true. Flossing is not only important for your oral health, it is also important for your overall health. We here at Cosmetics & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas know that even though this fact has been passed down for generations, people are still not flossing. And we get it, flossing is boring and a task.

So, let’s make it more interesting. First, it may be fun to go and find the perfect floss. There are some of us who love shopping and others who do not. The basic tips are to find a floss that fits comfortably in-between your teeth. This sounds intuitive, however, with different types of mouths, teeth, and floss, the right combination makes all the difference.

Next, use 18 inches of floss and wrap it around your middle fingers of each hand. Hold the floss tightly between your thumb and index finger. When the floss is in-between your teeth, really get in there by doing a rubbing motion with the string. Then when you hit the gum, follow the shape of your tooth and repeat it until you feel you’ve cleaned it out. In the process, going tooth to tooth, try and use clean areas of floss for every tooth.

Some people have a very small gap between their teeth so the manual string option may be difficult. For these individuals, we recommend using the floss that comes with a plastic portion for you to hold. These are found in all grocery stores, and you can pick the color and flavor! Ah, and please remember, you may bleed. Bleeding while you floss does not mean that there is something wrong, so don’t call your dentist in odd hours of the day.

Sometimes your gums bleed because there is bacteria that has been growing and you are scraping it out while irritating the inflamed area. Now, if you are bleeding continuously, then, by all means, call your dentist and make an appointment right away. Flossing removes plaques, food particles, and bacteria from areas where your toothbrush cannot reach, beneath the gum line.

In a nutshell, here are five easy techniques to flossing your way to health, revisited: 1

  1. Use 18 inches of floss, winding most of it around one of your middle fingers and the rest around the same finger of the opposite hand that will take up the floss that is dirty.
  2. Hold the floss strongly between your thumbs and forefingers.
  3. Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion and never snap the floss into the gums – be gentle.
  4. Curve the floss into a C shape against one tooth and gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.
  5. Make sure to hold the floss tightly against the tooth and gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions; repeat this method on the rest of your teeth and never forget the back side of your last tooth.

Once you are done flossing, throw away the floss and rinse and repeat the next day. If you are looking for a dental cleaning in Las Colinas, Irving, or DFW, Texas, contact us today!