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Most people don’t have a problem with brushing their teeth morning and night, but many people think it’s ok to skip flossing. While brushing and flossing removes plaque from the front, back, and chewing surfaces of the teeth, flossing removes food particles and plaque from between the teeth, where toothbrushes can’t reach. So, flossing reduces the risk for tooth decay and gum disease.

How to Floss

Cut a piece of floss that is about 18 inches long. Wind it around a finger on each hand, leaving an inch or two of floss in between. Pull the floss taut, hold it between your thumbs and index fingers, and gently work it between each tooth. Move the floss up and down between the teeth. Make sure you also floss beneath the gum line by curving the floss around the base of each tooth. Do not force floss or snap it between the teeth, as this can cut or bruise the gums. Use clean portions of floss as you move from tooth to tooth. Move the floss back and forth to remove the floss from between the teeth.

Choosing Floss

There are two types of dental floss:

Nylon (multifilament) floss. This floss can be waxed or unwaxed and comes in a variety of flavors. This type of floss may sometimes shred because it is made of many strands of nylon. This is especially the case when flossing between crowded teeth.

PTFE (monofilament) floss. This type of floss is slightly more expensive, but it slides easily between the teeth, even those that are crowded. PTFE floss is virtually shred resistant.

Both of these types of floss have the potential to effectively remove plaque and debris if used correctly. So, it doesn’t really matter which type you choose. Buy the floss that is comfortable to you and that you enjoy using.

Feel free to contact Boyle Dentistry at 804-569-0530 today to learn more about floss in Mechanicsville, Virginia, and to schedule a visit. Our dentist in Mechanicsville, Virginia, Dr. Jay P. Boyle, and our team are happy to give you dental hygiene tips!