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We have made solid strides in the realm of oral healthcare, including the use of dental floss to clean your pearly whites. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends flossing at least once each day. Because while a toothbrush can clean the tops and sides of teeth, it cannot reach in between the tight spaces between teeth. Using floss to remove bits of food particles and plaque that stick to your teeth helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Thorough flossing is key to effective flossing. You can floss before or after brushing, before bed or any other time of day which works best for you, just spend enough time to be thorough in your clearing of the debris. When you decide to floss is not important, just that you do it daily.

When selecting floss that works for you, just make sure to look for the ADA Seal of approval on the product packaging to ensure that it is both safe and effective:

–Nylon multifilament floss comes in waxed or unwaxed form, and may tear or shred while using.

–Single filament (monofilament) floss does not tear or shred but is slightly more expensive.

Either type of floss is effective. Once you have chosen the floss you feel comfortable with, it is time to perfect your flossing technique:

–First, you will want to wind approximately 18 inches of the floss from the floss dispenser.

–Next, wrap the floss around each of your middle fingers, with about an inch or so that you will be working with at a time.

–Be sure to keep the floss taut between your thumbs and your index fingers. Slide gently between your teeth in an up-and-down movement.

–Slide a U or C-shape around the bottom of each tooth, sliding carefully below the gum line as well.

–Slide gently so as not to harm the gum tissue, moving back and forth and up and down against the side of each tooth.

–When you move from tooth to tooth be sure to use clean sections of floss as you go.

–When you are finished, rinse with water or mouthwash to remove loosened debris.

Just taking a few extra minutes each day to thoroughly floss those pearly whites will benefit your oral health. If you have any questions or would like to schedule your next appointment, please call the dental team of Dr. Nicoletti and Dr. Feitat 845.452.8410 today!