Why is flossing important? Because most cavities and periodontal disease begin between the teeth. While brushing is important, the bristles of your toothbrush simply can’t remove plaque and bacteria from between the teeth. That’s why we recommend flossing every day.

a person flossing
Pull in a "C" shape
A floss fork
A floss fork

How To Floss

If you choose a brand and flavor of floss that you like, you’re more likely to use it every day. Once you’ve selected the perfect type of floss, follow these instructions to ensure that you thoroughly clean between your teeth:

  • Wind 18 inches of floss around the middle fingers of each hand, leaving about five inches between your hands.
  • Pinching the floss between your thumbs and index fingers, gently guide the floss between the teeth using a side-to-side motion.
  • Pull the floss tightly into a C-shape around the side of each tooth and slide it under the gum-line; move the floss up and down several times to remove all of the food and bacteria.
  • Wind the floss to a fresh section and then move on to the next tooth, repeating until your entire mouth is clean.

If your gums are infected, it’s likely that they’ll bleed when you floss. That’s to be expected if you’re just beginning or resuming a flossing routine. After a week or so of regular flossing, the bleeding should subside and you’ll be well on your way to healthier teeth and gums.

Copyright © 2005, Patterson Dental Supply, Inc. All Rights Reserved

We Know You're Looking for the Perfect Solution to Fit All of Your Dental Care Needs.

Your solution, however, isn’t to find the cheapest options possible. It’s to find a dentist who cares not just about one procedure that brings you into the office, but your overall health.  Whether you’re missing a single tooth or several, implants just might be the prosthetic option that you’re looking for. Ideal candidates will have sufficient jaw bone mass, healthy gums, and good overall health.