How to Use Dental Floss to Fight Tooth Decay

We’ve all been told by the dentist that we should brush our teeth twice every day. Most of us do this at morning and at night, eliminating plaque, decay, and tartar buildup. However, as you probably know, the toothbrush, whether manual or electronic, simply can’t get in between the crevices of our teeth enough to perform the same benefits for that part of our mouth. This is where flossing comes in to save the day. Dental floss, when done daily, does a great job of breaking up food and plaque in between our teeth, which can help us eliminate tooth decay over time. The reduction of plaque helps to reduce calculus, or tartar, as well.

But while we know that flossing works, many patients still ask: are there any tricks that I should try to ensure that I’m flossing correctly? In fact, the American Dental Association provides a very useful guide that breaks down the process to ensure the best possible outcome.

It doesn’t matter whether we floss before brushing our teeth or after, but merely that we take the time to do it every day. We often forget that children need flossing, as well. Once a child has two teeth that can create a crevice that a toothbrush can’t reach, then it’s time to start flossing.

Flossing should never result in pain. If pain occurs, you may be flossing too hard or have other complications that you should check out with your dentist, if the pain persists for longer than 14 days or so. Patients may also experience bleeding at the beginning of the process if they haven’t flossed for a while. This bleeding should subdue over time once your tissue is used to the motion.

It also doesn’t matter what type of tool you use to floss, whether it’s the traditional string floss, a pre-threaded flosser, tiny brushes, or other tools. What does matter is the motion that you use. Once the floss hits your gum, move it around the gum line between your teeth. Then you should guide it into a ‘C’ shape around your tooth, rub the side of the tooth, and continue to the adjacent tooth. Perform this motion for every tooth and space in your mouth.

Flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth, and patients should devote time for flossing each and every day in order to experience best results.

If you have any questions about your dental health or if you would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.

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