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How to Floss Your Teeth

Flossing is one of the most essential aspects of oral hygiene. If you value the health of your teeth and gums, you need to floss daily. At Lifetime Dental, we always make it a point to educate our patients about the importance of flossing and we even demonstrate to them how to do it correctly.

Why You Need to Floss

Flossing helps remove trapped food particles in between teeth as well as under the gums which cannot be dislodged by mere brushing. If food particles get stuck for a long time, it can cause bacterial build up, leading to bad breath, cavities and gum disease.

You’ll need to floss at least once a day, preferably at bed time. The ideal frequency should be after every meal but this is not always practical. If you cannot floss thrice a day, then at the very least make sure you floss before going to bed. Salivary flow is very low when you are fast asleep which means your mouth won’t be able to wash away bacteria building up in your mouth.

How It’s Done

You will need a dental floss – a simple waxed string that may come in a variety of flavors. Here are the steps:

  1. Wrap 18 inches of this string around your finger (1 finger per hand).
  2. Slide in between each tooth in a gentle zigzag motion.
  3. With each tooth, form a C shape as you wrap the string around it. Then carefully pull the dental floss upwards.
  4. Reach both sides of each tooth as well as the back of the tooth.
  5. Repeat the same procedure for all your teeth.

What Type of Floss is Best?

You can see so many choices in drugstores that it can be difficult to decide which one to get. But we recommend that you buy a waxed dental floss and if you prefer one that is flavored, go ahead. The flavoring does not add calories. You may also need to decide between ribbon or fine floss. We suggest you go for tape floss because it covers a bigger portion of the teeth and is able to do its job much more efficiently.

What Happens If I Don’t Floss?

Aside from getting cavities and gum disease, failure to floss regularly could put you at risk of the following:

  1. Tooth Loss – Untreated gum disease can cause the gums to recede and the tooth to become loose. When this happens, you’ll need to have the tooth extracted.
  2. Bad Breath – Odor-causing bacteria can give you bad-breath, along with food that has been trapped in between your teeth and gums.
  3. Health problems like dementia, pneumonia, erectile dysfunction, brain abscess, diabetes and even cancer. This is because the bacteria that builds up inside your mouth could spread to other parts of the body, leading to dangerous complications.

If you live in or around Rancho Cucamonga, CA schedule an appointment with Dr. Afzali so we can check your oral health and recommend the appropriate treatments. Give us a call at (909) 483-0812.


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