The Facts about Flossing

St-Charles-MO-Cosmetic-Dentist-FlossingIf there is one thing every dental patient could improve on it would probably “flossing frequency”. Most patients have good intentions and make an effort to floss regularly, especially after a dental visit, but soon after, the frequency declines. Flossing is an essential part of good oral hygiene, and your cosmetic dentist in St. Charles MO will remind you of that at each visit. When you understand the true value of flossing, you may just be a little more motivated to stay on track.

Flossing is performed to remove plaque and debris between each tooth and its adjacent partner. It can prevent two of the most common dental disease: cavities and gum disease. Brushing the teeth without flossing cannot effectively prevent these diseases. If you tend to brush first, you may find it easy to skip the step that includes flossing. Try flossing before you brush. That way, you’ll be less likely to skip the floss or perform improperly due to lack of time.

There are some basic, yet still important instructions for effective flossing. The suggested amount of floss needed is 12-15 inches. The floss can be held between the index finger and thumb of each hand. Protect your gums by using steady, gentle pressure and sliding the floss up and down the sides of the teeth. As the floss is moved downward, it should have a C-shape, wrapping snuggly around the tooth.

There are certain times when you will not be able to floss each tooth the same way. Dental bridges and braces require floss threaders and other interdental products. Although waterpicks and mouth rinses can rinse away loose food particles, there is no substitute for the mechanical ability of the dental floss.

You can expect to see some bleeding as you begin your new flossing habit, but don’t be discouraged! Usually, after proper flossing has routinely taken place you will notice the gums no longer bleed and you’ll feel better. Your St. Charles MO cosmetic dentist strongly believes in the importance of proper flossing, both for your health and for your beautiful smile.

For more advice and encouragement, call to schedule your appointment today.