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Why is flossing your teeth important?

Only flossing can thoroughly clean the surfaces in-between your teeth

Flossing your teeth is very important to the long-term health of your teeth and gums. It turns out that flossing your teeth is just as important as brushing. Only flossing can thoroughly clean the surfaces in-between your teeth. Brushing alone cannot clean these areas and leaves food particles in-between your teeth. If you’re not flossing your teeth, you’re not removing food particles from in-between your teeth. This could lead to cavity formation between the teeth, known as interproximal cavities, as well as gum disease.

What is the correct way to floss your teeth?

Flossing correctly takes some practice and shouldn’t be rushed

Flossing your teeth the requires some practice. First, grab a long enough piece of dental floss. Ideally, you need about a 12 to 18 inch piece of dental floss. Roll the floss firmly around your two index fingers, making sure to get a tight grip. Pass the dental floss carefully through each gap between your teeth. As you go in, carefully wiggle the floss left and right against adjacent teeth surfaces. Your objective is to remove the plaque which has gathered in-between teeth surfaces. Finish cleaning this gap, then re-position the floss to clean the next tooth surface. Continue until all surfaces in-between your teeth have been properly cleaned.

How long should you floss your teeth?

Never rush through flossing your teeth or you could end up leaving harmful plaque behind. Only floss one gap at a time. Flossing two gaps at the same time is not very effective and it won’t clean your teeth properly. Spend a couple of seconds flossing each gap before moving on to the next one. Pay close attention to floss the areas behind your furthest positioned teeth.

Are floss-picks as effective as regular dental floss?

Floss-picks should not be a substitute to daily flossing routine.

Floss-picks are not nearly as effective as traditional dental floss. Therefore, using a hand held floss-pick should not be a substitute to your daily flossing routine. However, floss-picks are an acceptable supplement to your daily hygiene routine, especially when you can’t get a hold of dental floss. Floss-picks are ideal for using at work, on lunch breaks, or when you’re out and about. The only exception is for those who are incapable of using regular dental floss due to some sort of disability. This includes those suffering from chronic arthritis pain, carpel tunnel syndrome, and other manual dexterity difficulties. In these cases, you can use a floss-pick to clean your teeth in place of traditional dental floss.

Is it a bad sign if your gums bleed when you floss them?

Bleeding gums are a common sign of gum disease. See your dentist for a dental cleaning to address your bleeding gums right away. If your gums continue to bleed even after your dental cleaning, then you may have to give it some more time. Continue flossing your teeth daily using correct flossing technique. Gradually, your gum bleeding should slow down and stop eventually. If your bleeding goes away in a few weeks, then this is a sign that your gums have healed. On the other hand, if your gums continue to bleed without showing signs of improvement, then you should follow-up with your dentist.

If you have more questions about how to correctly floss your teeth, schedule an appointment with us. Call (949)481-2540 or book your appointment online today. Our dentist, Dr. Jazayeri, will review your flossing technique and offer advice on how to improve your flossing technique. Call us today to review your flossing methods and learn if you’re cleaning your teeth properly. If you’d like to learn more about cleaning your teeth and gums, click on one of the following links: