Is Flossing Really Effective? Yes it is!

Happy flossing from your Prescott dentist, Hicks Dental group - rodent chewing on twig

Is Flossing Really Effective? Yes it is!

In light of recent questions from news reports, we have decided to respond to this question. Are we upset about this question? Absolutely not! We welcome the opportunity to discuss this issue.

Proper brushing helps to remove 60% of the plaque on a tooth, the other 40% of the tooth is inaccessible from the tooth brush. Proper flossing reaches these areas in between the teeth, or INTERPROXIMAL. The standard of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day is still pertinent for the general population. As we age, the gums forming the pink triangles in between may shrink, making it necessary to provide other tools such as soft picks or interproximal brushes to provide better cleaning. This is to prevent decay and gum disease. Not all interproximal spaces are the same. Therefore, proper homecare techniques will often times be individualized.

Proper flossing technique:

  • Take approximatey 18″ of floss and wrap it around the 2 middle fingers, not the index finger.
  • Ease the floss through the contact of the teeth.
  • Wrap the floss in an exagerrated “C” shape around one side of the tooth, moving the floss in an up-and-down direction-DO NOT “SAW” THE FLOSS AT THE ATTACHMENT!
  • Repeat this motion on the other side, moving up and down multiple times until the tooth feels “glassy”.
  • Move to a new area of floss frequently
  • Don’t be afraid if there is blood, this means there was some plaque in the area that needed to be removed.

Do this daily to keep a healthy and beautiful smile! Happy flossing from your Prescott dentist, Hicks Dental group.

– Tina Ryan, RHD

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/31/2016) Becker1999 (Flickr)