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Brushing your teeth twice each day is only one part of an effective oral hygiene routine. Flossing is just as important as it is the most effective tool for removing plaque and food particles from between teeth as well as along the gum line.

Flossing is more than simply running a piece of waxed or unwaxed floss between your teeth. While the spaces between your teeth can harbor food particles, the gum line itself can also harbor bacteria, plaque and tartar. Over time, tartar buildup along the gum line can cause inflammation, gum disease and even a loss of material in the bones anchoring your teeth.

To thoroughly clean your teeth and gums, you’ll need to cut off a section of floss roughly 16 to 18 inches long. Wrap the excess floss around your middle fingers. Then, use a firm grip to hold a small section of floss between your thumb and index fingers.

Don’t force the floss or snap it into your gums as this could injure the soft tissue. If you’re having trouble getting floss between your teeth, try using a waxed variety of floss. Work the floss around your teeth in a U shape and gently work it into the space between your gum line and the tooth. Carefully use the floss to remove any food particles or unseen plaque from the gums. On larger teeth, like molars, this might require three motions to focus on the rear and front of the gum line.

Be sure to also floss behind the all of your back teeth. This is a commonly ignored or forgotten spot where food particles and bacteria can hide.

If you have questions about your flossing technique, please feel free to call us at 832-616-8822 or ask the hygienist at your next appointment. We look forward to seeing you!