As part of your daily oral hygiene routine flossing is by far one of the most important activities. Most of us think flossing stinks but neglecting to floss is worse and not just because it causes bad breath.

Brushing alone does not get rid of all the plaque in your mouth. A lot of it hides between teeth where toothbrushes cannot reach. The majority of cavities occur in these tight areas and leads to discomfort and costly restoration procedures.

Proper flossing technique benefits you in your overall oral health. It keeps cavities from forming between teeth. It strengthens gums to prevent gingivitis. When followed by a good mouth rinse it keeps odor causing bacteria from growing in your mouth.

When you begin a flossing regimen ease the string gently between your teeth. This will reduce initial discomfort and help decrease the likelihood of bleeding gums. If your gums do bleed a little, do not worry. This is normal, and they will feel better after rinsing with mouthwash. After a few times you will notice your gums have built up a resistance to the sensitivity you experienced in the beginning.

Begin flossing your hard to reach back teeth. This will put less stain on your jaw as you move forward to the front ones. Do the top teeth then the bottom two below them. Work your way forward going from top to bottom, top to bottom until you finish with the middle of the front two teeth. This helps to build momentum in your flossing action and makes quick work of a seemingly slow process.

This proper process of flossing should be done twice a day. Floss once before bed and after breakfast, because the majority of plaque and bacteria builds up during your sleep.

People can have barriers to flossing. Teeth can be too close together because of impacted teeth. These are caused by teeth coming in misaligned. The most common example is from wisdom teeth. You should discuss issues such as these with your local dentist like *Dr. James Russo in San Leandro, California. Along with giving advice about the best flossing technique for your mouth your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist to resolve tooth alignment problems.

Flossing may not be as popular as brushing and rinsing, but it is very, very important. Maybe if there were more TV commercials about it people would be more concerned. Nevertheless, whatever type of floss you use, proper technique is key to making it effective and comfortable. Water picks are gentler way to floss. Look for a future article on types of flossing tools.

*Dr. James Russo has been serving San Leandro, California for 27 years. He and his experienced staff know how to make dentistry comfortable to create healthy smiles. They would be happy to consult with you about your oral heath needs

Posted in: Healthy Smiles


  Copyright 2009 James P.Russo, DDS. All Rights Reserved.