One question every Hendricks County resident will hear when they visit Danville Family Dentistry is: “Are you flossing every day?” For a lot of patients, the answer will be “no.”
While most patients are good at brushing their teeth twice a day, for some reason, many of these same patients have trouble flossing consistently. Flossing is just as important a step in your dental health as brushing is. While your toothbrush cleans the tops and outer surfaces of your teeth and gums, floss cleans places in your mouth that your toothbrush can’t reach. When you floss, you remove plaque and food debris from the tight spaces between your teeth and the area between the base of your teeth and your gums.
Maybe one reason why Hendricks County residents don’t floss as often as they should is that they don’t know the right way to do it. Therefore, here are the correct steps to follow, according to the American Dental Association:
- Pull out about 18 inches of floss from the container and break it off. Wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wrap the rest of the thread around the same finger on the opposite hand.
- Hold about 1 inch of floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.
- Place the floss between your teeth, using a gentle rubbing motion. Don’t shove the floss into your gums.
- When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide the floss into the space between the gum and your tooth.
- While holding the floss tightly against the tooth, gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the thread away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat steps 4 and 5 on the neighboring tooth.
- Repeat all steps to clean the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget to clean the back side of your last tooth.
- As the floss becomes dirty, wrap the soiled thread around the finger with the smaller amount while you unwind clean floss from the other finger.
If you need help mastering this technique, ask the dental hygienists at our Hendricks County office to show you how to floss. They’ll be happy to work with you to make sure you’re doing it correctly.
Remember: Flossing daily helps to prevent tooth decay, especially between the teeth. It also helps to prevent gum disease by removing all the plaque that accumulates around your gums. So make it a daily habit – floss your teeth after brushing before you go to bed every night.