Daily flossing is a preventative measure against gum disease and tooth decay. Flossing is a method for removing plaque and food debris that can not be reached by a toothbrush.

There are many undesirable consequences that flossing can help prevent:

  • Bad Breath-which can be caused by decaying food particles stuck between teeth.
  • Cavities-food trapped between teeth can mix with bacteria and acids to form plaque.  The plaque then starts to eat away at tooth enamel resulting in cavities.
  • Gum Disease-plaque can build up along the gum line causing inflammation, gingivitis, and can progress into diseases of the bony and ligament support system of the teeth (Periodontal disease).

If using a piece of regular dental floss the steps are:

  1. tear off a piece of floss that is approximately 6 inches long
  2. wrap the end around your pointer fingers on each hand
  3. insert the floss between the contact point between all teeth
  4. the floss should go all the way to the gum line
  5. make a C around each tooth in an upward and downward motion
  6. move to a new section of floss for the next contact point between the teeth
  7. use a new piece of floss every night.

Regular dental floss is not the only option available. There are floss picks, water picks, supper floss, and bridge aids for patients that have braces or some type of dental work such as a bridge.

As long as you are flossing each night, the method of flossing you choose is not important!!