At Affinity Dental of La Mesa, we encourage our clients to brush teeth twice a day and floss once daily. Many of our clients ask us about proper flossing techniques, and we often hear from people who feel they do not know the right way to do it. We are always happy to discuss best practices for brushing and flossing, and encourage you to ask us your questions during your routine teeth cleaning visit or reach out to us anytime at (619) 697-2800. Here we discuss the importance of proper flossing techniques, and share our five favorite tips for flossing. 

Flossing your teeth is the most effective way to clean the spaces between the teeth and along the gum line. Cleaning between the teeth removes plaque, which helps prevent cavities and gum disease. Plaque contains bacteria that feeds on leftover food or sugar in your mouth. When that happens, it releases an acid that can eat away at the outer shell of your teeth and cause cavities. Plaque that is not removed by brushing and cleaning between your teeth can eventually harden into a rough substance called tartar (or calculus). Tartar collects along your gum line and over time can lead to gum disease. Once tartar forms, only your dental team can remove it. Daily flossing is the best way to prevent against plaque and tartar forming.

 The American Dental Association recommends flossing your teeth daily, and at Affinity Dental, we agree daily flossing is an essential part of a good oral health routine. Here are 5 easy to follow tips for proper flossing:

  1. Break off about 18 inches of floss, and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand – this finger will take up the floss as it is used. 
  2. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers. 
  3. Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Never snap the floss into the gums. 
  4. When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.
  5. Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Make sure to remember the back side of your last tooth!

Follow these 5 tips for proper flossing once a day, and you’ll help your mouth fight plaque and prevent gum disease-causing tartar. If you still have questions about proper flossing techniques, speak to our team at your next teeth-cleaning appointment. At Affinity Dental of La Mesa, California, we want to help you maintain optimal health in your mouth. We are here to be partners with you in your oral health and our general dentistry services are designed to meet the needs of you and your whole family. Give us a call at (619) 697-2800 or click here to book an appointment today! At Affinity Dental, we will go above and beyond to meet your needs for a healthy smile.