A person smiling and flossing

How to Practice Proper Flossing Technique

As a dentist has no doubt told you in the past, flossing is an important part of any oral hygiene routine. Brushing alone is simply not going to do a good enough job at removing plaque and food particles from between teeth and around the gumline. At Crestwood Dental Clinic in Medicine Hat, we always make sure that our patients know why they should be flossing and how to floss correctly.

When it comes to preventing and even reversing gingivitis, flossing is the best tool available. By removing plaque from between the teeth more effectively than a toothbrush could, flossing helps to reduce gum inflammation and, in turn, can actually bring down the body's overall inflammatory response. Lower gum inflammation has been connected with a lower risk of cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes.


How to Floss Effectively

Proper flossing technique begins with flossing at least once in a 24 hour period. After 24 hours, plaque will begin to harden into a sticky substance known as tartar, which only a professional cleaning can remove.

To begin flossing, take a piece of floss that is about as long as the distance from your elbow to your fingertips (about 18 inches). Wrap each end of the floss around the middle fingers of your hands so that you can use your thumb and index finger to hold it. Alternatively, you may also want to consider using flossing stick or whatever method of flossing feels most comfortable for you.

As you floss, make sure you move the floss systematically from tooth to tooth, getting both sides of the tooth as you go. Move the floss up and down on each side of a tooth about three times, going all the way down to the gumline. There's no need to snap the floss down hard; flossing firmly, but gently will remove plaque and food particles just as well.

It is recommended that you brush your teeth after you've flossed, not before. This is because the fluoride in your toothpaste can now make better contact with the spaces between your teeth which you've just cleaned out, helping to protect even more against gum disease.

Why You Should See Your Medicine Hat Dentist for Personalized Tips

Though the flossing technique described above is a great basic outline to follow, you'll want to be sure to stick to any additional tips and pointers that your dentist provides you with. A dentist can let you know which areas of your mouth are receiving enough attention and which ones you need to work on more.

When you come in for a cleaning and examination at Crestwood Dental Clinic in Medicine Hat, we'll let you know how your gums are doing and whether or not you need to improve or change up your flossing habits.

If it's time for your regular dental cleaning, then you can schedule an appointment at Crestwood Dental Clinic today. With personalized tips from our dentists, you'll be on your way to fantastic gum health in no time.

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