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How to Floss: A 5-Step Lesson

Flossing | Dentist in Tacoma

Flossing is an important part of proper home oral care. Unfortunately, most people are not diligent flossers. In fact, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that only about 30 percent of the population flossed regularly.

The American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day, and we concur. Your toothbrush simply cannot reach the areas between teeth where food particles and bacteria can get caught. Flossing regularly helps get rid of plaque between teeth and under the gum line, which helps to prevent gum disease.

Your Tacoma, WA dentist can give you a lesson in proper flossing at your next visit. We’ve also outlined the five steps to proper flossing here.

How to Floss Properly in Five Steps

There are many different types of dental floss, but it really comes down to personal preference. The most important factor in choosing a floss is finding one you like—and using it regularly.

  1. Tear off a length of floss that is about 18 inches long.
  2. Use both hands and wind the floss around the middle finger of each hand. Leave a 1- or 2-inch length of floss between both hands.
  3. Work that length of floss between your teeth, holding the floss taut as you work the floss up and down
  4. Be gentle as you work your way through ever tooth, being especially careful around delicate gum tissue.
  5. Re-wind the floss so you use a clean section every time you move to a new tooth.

Don’t do it halfway when it comes to taking care of your teeth. Brushing needs to be accompanied by regular flossing if you want to take the best possible care of your oral health at home. Be sure to see your Tacoma, WA dentist twice each year for examinations and cleanings! 

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