Are You Flossing Properly?

November 19, 2021

If you want to maintain optimal oral health, flossing every day is an important part of that equation. While brushing twice daily will remove the majority of plaque buildup in your mouth, it misses the areas between your teeth where bacteria thrive. Floss gets into those spaces, as well as the areas between your teeth and gums to remove plaque and prevent it from becoming damaging tartar buildup. At American Dental, we are a trusted dentist in Southside Chicago and other Chicagoland communities, and we are here to tell you that flossing every day is crucial. Just make sure you are doing it correctly for the best results. Here is the proper way to floss:

  • Step One – tear off an 18-inch piece of floss and wind most of it around the middle finger of your dominant hand. Wind the rest around the middle finger of your opposite hand; as you floss, you will wind the dirty floss onto this finger so that clean floss is always in contact with your teeth and gums.
  • Step Two – Grasp the middle section of floss between your thumbs and forefingers
  • Step Three – Gently guide the floss between your teeth using a back and forth motion; never snap the floss into the spaces between your teeth as this can damage the gums or cause them to bleed excessively.
  • Step Four – Move the floss up and down between your front teeth (incisors, canines, and bicuspids) to remove most of the plaque. As you approach the gum line, gently guide the floss into the space between the teeth and gums to remove plaque hiding under the gum line.
  • Step Five – As you move on to the molars, you will have more surface area to cover. Place the floss between the molars and sweep them up and down across the entire surface, inside and out. Also, be sure to sweep the floss up and down across the back surface of your last molar.

When you floss, it isn’t just about keeping your teeth and gums clean; it is also about maintaining the health of your entire body. Poor oral health can cause issues in other areas, so maintaining a daily oral health routine that includes brushing twice daily, flossing once daily or after meals as needed, and using mouthwash is a critical part of keeping your whole body healthy. Your oral health routine should also include a visit to the dentist every six months for a checkup. During your visit, you can go over proper flossing techniques and address any other oral health concerns you may have.

If you live in the Chicago area, the team at American Dental would be thrilled to assist you in your journey to optimal oral health. We have 7 different locations in Chicagoland to serve you, so click the “Make an Appointment” button to find out which location is most convenient for you. Call us any time you need a general dentist in Chicago, or if you need restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, emergency dentistry, and more.

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