How to floss properly and prevent tooth decay – advice from your Tacoma dentist

How to floss properly and prevent tooth decay – advice from your Tacoma dentist


As any dentist in Tacoma will tell you flossing should be part of your daily oral hygiene routine. While brushing your teeth is equally important, a toothbrush will not reach all aspects of your tooth or remove debris from deep below the gum line. Flossing is what will remove bits of food, bacteria and plaque build-up from in-between your teeth and in deep pockets around the tooth.

In between and around our teeth, bacteria left untouched for long periods of time can lead to periodontal disease. This bacteria can slowly but surely start building up around your teeth and into your gums leading to bone loss and the possible loss of teeth.

Flossing 101

Tips with flossing:

  • Take a small piece of floss (about the size of our hand) and hold the ends of the string with your fingers in order to create a tight piece of floss
  • Slowly insert the floss between your teeth. Make sure you don’t use too much force, as the floss could get stuck on a small piece of food and then break through, effectively hitting your gums harder than necessary.
  • Once the floss is near the gum line, wrap the floss around the tooth, creating a “C” shape around the tooth.
  • Move the floss up and down while wrapping the tooth; then wrap the adjacent tooth and move the floss up and down.
  • Repeat this process between each gap in the teeth.
  • If you have teeth that are hard to reach or are really close to each other, speak to your dentist about different types of floss or additional techniques that can help with this process.

If you have young children, teach them the importance of flossing from a young age so that it becomes a daily routine. Show them how to floss and help them with the process until they can demonstrate their competency with you.  Creating a positive environment where you and your child are flossing together will help them to start a daily routine.

Need more dental hygiene advice or a check-up? Simply contact Distinctive Dentistry to make your appointment today.

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