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Margolian Dentistry Blog

The Facts About Flossing

Do you floss each day or only when you have something stuck in between your teeth, or perhaps just before you see our dentist in Whitby?

We know many people find it tricky to floss every day or feel they don’t have the time to floss regularly. Others find that flossing is painful, yet when you have a healthy mouth, flossing shouldn’t hurt at all. Flossing can be uncomfortable if you have gum disease, and when this is the case, you could see blood on your dental floss. Unfortunately, many people believe this is a sign they should stop flossing, but it can alert you to some potential problems. Some people may bleed if they floss their teeth too vigorously, but it’s also a sign of gum disease, and if your gums look red and inflamed, it’s time to see the dentist in Ajax.

Flossing is a valuable weapon in the fight against dental plaque from in between your teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach, but it’s important to use the right type of dental floss. Here at Margolian Dentistry, we can advise you on the best type of dental floss to try. The different types include waxed and unwaxed, flavoured and unflavoured, and you can even get wide dental floss. All dental floss will help to clean your teeth and remove plaque.

Dental Tape
Wide dental floss is also called dental tape and can be a good choice if you have a bridge. Dental tape can be good for people who have larger than average gaps between their teeth.

Waxed Floss
Try using waxed floss if your teeth are tightly packed as it will slide in between them more easily.

Unwaxed Floss
When you use unwaxed floss on newly cleaned teeth, it will squeak slightly indicating that the plaque has been removed. However, unwaxed floss can fray quite easily, and you may want to try using bonded unwaxed floss, although this can still tear.

Using the Proper Technique for Flossing
Most people make the mistake of breaking off a short length of dental floss when you need about 45 cm. That might seem a lot, but you wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the other end around the same finger on your other hand, and as you floss in between your teeth, you gradually ‘wind on’ the dental floss, so you use a fresh section for each tooth.

Make sure you hold the dental floss tightly using your thumbs and forefingers to hold approximately 2 cm of floss between them. Guide the dental floss gently between your teeth using a sawing motion. Once the dental floss reaches the gum line, curve it around the tooth and gently slide it up and down as this will scrape away more dental plaque. Repeat these actions for all of your teeth, including teeth right at the back of the mouth.

What to Do If Flossing Is Tricky?
The first thing to do is to talk to our dental hygienist in Oshawa and who can demonstrate the correct techniques for flossing your teeth thoroughly. You may find these techniques are much easier. If you still find flossing awkward, there are other tools you can try, such as interdental brushes or a WaterPik. Interdental brushes are like tiny toothbrushes and come in a variety of sizes. They are designed to fit in between your teeth to manually remove dental plaque. A WaterPik uses pressurized water to remove dental plaque, and it can be very useful for people who wear braces or who don’t have enough dexterity to manipulate dental floss.

Flossing is critical for strong, healthy gums, and once you know how, it is easy to do and will soon become a daily habit.


Aug 9, 2019 | Posted by
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