Don’t Forget to Floss

Woman Holding FlossUsing Floss Is Essential To Good Oral Health

Learn the benefits and proper technique.

With new state-of-the-art mechanical toothbrushes, you might feel that your teeth are cleaner than ever. So it might be tempting to skip the floss. However, if you forget this simple step, you’re doing your teeth a real disservice.

Benefits of Flossing

Even with perfect brushing, its impossible to get all the way in between teeth. In these hard to reach places, food particles and debris become trapped. Eventually, harmful bacteria begin to thrive. Without flossing, these conditions will lead to a buildup of plaque and tartar, leaving you at an increased risk for cavities and tooth decay. Furthermore, the health of your gums is affected as well. Proper flossing (combined with brushing) can help prevent periodontal (gum) disease.

Effective Flossing

To utilize floss correctly, use a piece that is approximately 18 inches long. Wrap the ends around the tip of each of your index fingers. Then, gently slide the floss between the teeth. Should this prove difficult, use a back and forth motion to work the floss down into the crevice. Never pull the floss forcefully toward your gums, as this can cause injury to the sensitive tissue. To clean each tooth, form a “C” shape around the edge while performing a slight up and down movement. Repeat in the opposite direction to clean the adjacent tooth, then move on to the next space.

If it’s been a while since you’ve had a good floss, it can be a little difficult, and your gums may be especially sensitive. However, with proper practice, it will become a natural part of your routine, and you’ll be well on your way to improved oral health!

About Dr. William J. Black

William Black earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Davis in 1988. He then went on to the UCLA School of Dentistry where he graduated in 1992. Following dental school, Dr. Black served in the U.S. Navy for 3 years as a dentist. He then settled in the Sacramento area where he opened his practice in 1996. Dr. Black is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA), California Dental Association (CDA), Sacramento District Dental Society (SDDS), Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), and the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). He is currently pursuing Mastership with the Academy of General Dentistry and accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Black has 8 children, works actively with the Boy Scouts of America, and enjoys gardening.

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