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Only floss the teeth you want to keep!

Sunday, December 27, 2009
It's a funny punch line, emphasizing the importance of flossing, but it's true. Flossing your teeth after meals (and twice daily) is just as important as brushing to keep your mouth clean, healthy and fresh.
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Flossing is very efficient in removing plaque and debris that accumulates between the teeth and underneath portions of the gum pocket. This should be an essential part of your daily oral cleaning process. When plaque (a sticky bacterial substance that accumulates on curved tooth surfaces and crevices) is removed, dental diseases can be prevented, along with
gum problem and bad breath (which require both brushing and flossing to prevent). If one fails to keep up their oral hygiene, tooth decay and gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis, respectively) will affect your oral health.

Proper flossing technique is also critical. Begin by taking a piece of floss (around 12-18 inches) and wrapping it around your two index fingers tightly, with plenty of slack on each side. Move the piece of floss between each tooth, wrapping the floss around the curved sides of each tooth in a C-shape, sliding up and down several times beneath the surface of the gum. Between each teeth site will be two curved sides for flossing except for the far back molars. Be sure to move the floss down as far as possible, beneath the gum line, as this loosens and breaks up food buildup and initial bacteria buildup.If you have dental bridges or braces, the flossing technique will need to be slightly altered. A dental threader will be carry the floss passing under the jointed teeth contact area, and then the individual can pump up and down in typical flossing strokes. If you notice some bleeding, it is a sign of inflammation of the gum tissue – this usually signals the early stages of gingivitis. Keep up your proper home care routine and the condition will improve. If the condition of bleeding upon brushing and
flossing lasts more than two weeks, get some help from your dental professional.

There are several different types of floss (including waxed, unwaxed, and tape floss) – normally, easy gliding thin floss (like Glide) will be a good choice for average dental conditions. Gapped teeth or in areas under a dental bridge should require tape floss. Remember, you can get advice from your dental professional to find out which is the best choice for you.

For people who have arthritis, advanced periodontal conditions or other issues of dexterity, additional dental cleaning home equipment will be very helpful. Electric tooth brushes (like Rotadent and Sonicare) and dental irrigators (like Hydrofloss and Waterpik) are very efficient tools to maintain proper oral hygiene. Remember to brush and floss twice daily (and after meals)! These important habits and routines will keep your teeth healthy, happy and looking fabulous!
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