Westpark Helpful Dental Articles

Flossing Properly Just One Minute a Day Great for Dental Health

The reason it is so important to floss your teeth is that a toothbrush has a really hard time getting in between your teeth. Toothbrush bristles are too thick to get into those areas. We have to use something like dental floss, or a water floss such as Waterpik, or tiny proxy brushes to clean between the teeth.

It makes me very happy to hear that my patients are using something to get in between their teeth and remove food particles and plaque. Though there is not a time recommendation for flossing, I believe that one minute each day will suffice. With practice a person can get all the teeth done in that amount of time or even less.

People often are unsure what they are supposed to do with a length of stringy floss, so we show them here in the dental office. I floss their teeth and I also show them how to wrap the floss around their fingers and what direction to move it in between the teeth.

It is important to floss because the gingiva, the gums between teeth, need to be cared for and cleaned out just as the surfaces of the teeth should be cleaned. Those in between spaces are where most periodontal disease originates. When plaque is present, we start to see inflammation and bleeding from the spaces between the teeth, which flossing regularly can prevent. Flossing, which actually touches the spaces of gums between the teeth, stimulates the gums and keeps the blood circulating properly to those areas of the gums, which helps keep the gums healthy.

I tend to recommend the Glide brand dental floss because it is very good at getting into spaces where the contact between teeth is very tight. Traditional floss tends to shred or fray in those areas of tightness, while Glide moves in and out easily to remove plaque.

Patients who learn proper flossing techniques from the hygienist and floss faithfully and properly for just one minute a day will have much better oral health than patients who do not floss.

Jessica Sapara, Dental Hygienist
West Park Dental
Cleveland, OH

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Posted 05/25/2020

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