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West Bowmanville Family Dental Blog

Want Healthy Gums? Don’t Forget about Flossing

Do you floss your teeth every day? Congratulations if you answered yes and it almost certainly shows in your gum health. If you are one of those people who only floss when you get something stuck in between your teeth, or before you visit your dentist in Bowmanville, then we’d love to encourage you to begin flossing every day.

What Happens When You Don’t Floss Regularly?
When you don’t floss your teeth regularly, you are at increased risk of developing gum disease. If you don’t floss, then a considerable percentage of your tooth surfaces will remain uncleaned because your toothbrush cannot fit right in between your teeth. These contact areas are the very places where dental plaque and food debris buildup. Unless regularly removed, the bacteria in dental plaque will utilize food particles as an energy source, creating acid and toxins that infect and inflame your gums. Despite all the advantages of regularly flossing your teeth, a huge percentage of adults in Canada fail to floss regularly, and over a fifth of adults have or have had in the past moderate or more severe gum disease.

The good news about flossing is that once you start to floss regularly then you won’t want to stop because it’s a habit that will leave you with a beautifully clean mouth. Also, you’ll get lots of praise from your dental hygienist in Clarington for looking after your teeth and gums so well. We can always tell who flosses regularly and who doesn’t!

Getting Started with Flossing
The key to starting to floss is to just do it, but we’ve listed a few quick tips to help you get started.

  • Choose floss that is comfortable to use, and you might need to experiment a bit to find floss you like.
  • Don’t be too stingy with your dental floss. You need to break off a 45 cm length of floss to clean your entire mouth.
  • One method of flossing is to tie the ends of the dental floss together to form a circle. Alternatively, wrap the ends of the dental floss around your middle fingers so that you can “wind on” the dental floss to use a fresh section in between each tooth. Use your thumbs and forefingers to manipulate the dental floss.
  • Slide the dental floss right down to just below the gum line. Hold the floss so it forms a C shape around the tooth and gently move it up and down several times as this action will help to remove the maximum amount of plaque.
  • When you initially begin to floss your teeth, you might notice your gums bleed a little, but if you persevere and the bleeding should stop within a week or two as your gums become healthier and stronger. However, it is essential not to floss your teeth too hard or to saw at your gums, and technique is critical.

Ask Us for Practical Help and Advice
If you are unsure about how to floss correctly then why not ask our dentist in Newcastle for help? Dental education is hugely important to us we’d be delighted to work with you to help improve your flossing technique. Flossing can feel tricky when you first start out but knowing how to do it correctly can make all the difference. If you hate the thought of flossing, then ask us about alternatives as there are other tools to try. Such as interdental brushes or a Water Pik. The most important thing is to do something to clean in between your teeth.


May 4, 2018 by
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