Cleaning your teeth properly includes cleaning between you teeth, and the best way to clean between your teeth, and the other places your toothbrush can’t reach, is with flossing.
A great deal of attention is given to cosmetic dentistry these days. It’s easier that ever to get a bigger, brighter, whiter smile. But just as woman would prepare her fingernails to be clean, smooth and healthy before applying nail polish, dental patients need to ensure their teeth are well maintained and their gums are healthy before considering teeth whitening or any other cosmetic improvement.
Most people appreciate the importance of brushing their teeth at least twice a day, but many fall by the wayside when it’s time for daily flossing.
Cleaning your teeth properly includes cleaning between you teeth, and the best way to clean between your teeth, and the other places your toothbrush can’t reach, is with flossing. Flossing removes bacterial plaque – the stuff that causes tooth decay and gum disease.
Practice the following flossing technique for best result:
1. Break off about 18 inches of loss and wrap it around the middle finger of each hand, leaving a couple of inches of floss in-between to work with.
2. Using your thumbs and forefingers, tighten the floss and guide it between your teeth, curving it in a “C” shape around the base of each tooth. – as deep in the gum as you comfortably can. Slide the floss up and down the tooth, including the back side of the last teeth.
Don’t be discouraged if at first flossing feels awkward – it will come naturally after a few tries. And please, ask us to demonstrate the proper technique, and we’d be happy to recommend different types of floss to try, to help you find your perfect kind. As well, there are alternative interdental cleaners you may find easier to manage. Simply ask us to explain your options at your next visit.
Dr. Librada C. Yamat is a Family Dentist specializing in Cosmetic Dentistry. She has been practicing since 1992 in her Daly City office located at 187 Southgate Ave. (650) 991-2832. She is president of the MCU Dental Alumni Association and former president of the American Federation of Filipino Dental Practitioners.