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22Feb2011

The Facts of Flossing

FLOSSING ISN’T A HARD THING TO DO… so why is it that so many of us have such a hard time doing it? Many of you probably have questions regarding flossing teeth, so we’re here to help. For something as simple as string in a plastic container, why are there choices between waxed, unwaxed, mint, cinnamon, flattened and round? Is it better to wrap it around your fingers or use a wand to hold it? When is the best time to floss?

Here’s the lowdown…the type of floss you choose to use isn’t nearly as important as the amount of time you spend flossing. The only reason there are so many varieties of floss is because we all have different types of teeth. The thickness of floss that works for you depends on the spacing of your teeth. Just like toothpaste, floss comes in a variety of flavors to make the tedious task more enjoyable. The method, thickness, and flavors you prefer are the ones you should use.

Why is flossing so important? Flossing is the best way to fully remove bacteria between your teeth so that it doesn’t harden into plaque or tartar, which can only be removed through a professional cleaning. If tartar is not removed it can cause gum swelling or bleeding, commonly called gingivitis—the first symptom of gum disease.

Thanks to our friends at Howcast, here’s a short video that teaches you the best flossing technique:

What’s the rule of thumb for flossing? The ADA recommends flossing at least once a day as part of your oral routine. Because flossing reaches those areas where your toothbrush can’t, it can be helpful to floss first so that the fluoride from your toothpaste can reach all areas.

Dr. Cuevas prefers that you floss at night before you go to bed so you can remove all the food that got crammed in between your teeth throughout the day. Some of us here at Fairfield Smiles by Design use a flossing wand because it seems to give the perfect amount of tension. So…pick a flavor, set a routine and get flossing! Time to keep those teeth healthy and clean!

Also, don’t forget to “Like” our new Facebook Page, and follow us on Twitter! And feel free to contact us with any questions you have about your oral health, to make an appointment, or to send along a referral. Thanks!

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