Flossing 101



Flossing is an important part of oral hygiene.  Some plaque is not removed from brushing and, when left on your teeth, this plaque can lead to cavities or gum disease.  Flossing once a day can help to remove plaque and it can help you to avoid future dental problems.



How to Floss


  • Starting with about 18 inches of floss, wrap the floss around your middle fingers so you can use your thumbs and forefingers to move the floss.


  • Hold the floss tautly and gently push it between two teeth using a gentle sawing motion back and forth until the floss pops down.


  • Wrap the floss around the side of one tooth, making a C-like shape, then gently slide up and down, making sure you go beneath the gumline. Don’t force or snap the floss as this may cut or bruise your gums.


  • To remove the floss, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth. Rotate the floss before you go to the next area so you’re sure you are using a clean spot.


There are two general types of floss you can consider for your flossing needs. Nylon floss (or multifilament) is available unwaxed or waxed, and it can be found in a variety of flavors. This type of floss is composed of many strands of nylon so it may sometimes tear or shred.  Single filament (PTFE or monofilament) is more expensive, but tends to slide more easily between teeth and is typically shred-resistant. When used properly, either type of floss can be a great way to remove plaque and debris.



The content above is applicable for many of our Mainstream Dental patients. Your individual circumstances may alter the suggestions or instructions being provided.  Please contact Dr. Jeffrey Fortna for an appointment to discuss your unique dental needs or to ask him specific question about flossing. 

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