Brushing your teeth effectively removes plaque and food particles from tooth surfaces, but can’t properly clean the hard-to-reach areas between them. This leaves these areas highly susceptible to decay and periodontal disease (gum disease). Daily flossing corrects this problem by cleaning between the teeth and under the gum line, disrupting the build up of plaque colonies and helping to prevent damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.
Plaque is an invisible film of living bacteria combined with food debris and saliva. It produces the toxins that cause cavities and irritate the gums. When left in place, it hardens and turns into tartar (known as calculus) which further irritates and inflames the gums while slowly eating away at the dental bone structure, marking the beginning of periodontal disease.
How to floss properly:
- Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss free between them.
- Using the thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert it between the teeth and slide it back and forth in a sawing motion.
- Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gum line. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.
For those who might struggle with this process, we recommend floss holders.