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Flossing is a very important part of your oral hygiene regimen and one of the most important things you can do to help prevent the onset of gum disease.

The act of flossing might seem to be a little more than running a piece of waxed or unwaxed string between your teeth. However, the spaces between your teeth are only one part of your mouth that is vulnerable to the effects of bacteria. The gum line itself can also harbor bacteria, plaque and tartar in places that your toothbrush simply can’t reach.

In order to remove this plaque, you will need 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.

If you find it hard to work floss between your teeth, you might want to choose to use an unwaxed variety. You don’t want to force the floss between your teeth and risk snapping it into your gums where it can cause a wound.

Gently work the floss between your teeth. Then work the floss around your tooth 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 forgotten spot where food particles and bacteria can hide.

If you have questions about your flossing technique, please feel free to call us at 505-662-3163 to schedule an appointment or ask your hygienist at your regular dental cleaning.