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We have made many strides in the care of oral health, including the use of dental floss to clean our pearly whites. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends flossing at least once each day. While your toothbrush can clean the tops and sides of teeth, it cannot get in between those tight spaces between your teeth. Flossing removes bits of food particles and plaque that stick to your teeth and contribute to tooth decay if not removed.

Thorough flossing is key to effective flossing. When you decide to floss is not crucial, just that you do it daily. 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 oral debris.

When choosing a floss that works best for you, look for the ADA Seal of approval on the product label. This ensures that the product 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 one is effective, however.

Now that you have chosen your floss, it is time to perfect your technique:

–Begin by pulling around 18 inches of the floss from the dispenser.

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

–Keep the floss taut between your thumbs and your index fingers and gently slide it between your teeth in an up-and-down movement.

–Make a U-shape around the bottom of each tooth, cleaning below the gum line as well.

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

–Be sure to use clean sections of the floss when you move on from each tooth.

–Rinse with water or mouthwash when you are finished to remove the debris.

Taking some extra time each day to thoroughly floss those pearly whites will increase your oral health immeasurably. If you would like to schedule an appointment, or have any questions or concerns, please call Presidio Dental at 415.737.0430 today!