Are you Flossing Correctly? Ask the Dentist Port Selden Trusts

August 18, 2015

Woman flossing dentist Port Selden

Dr. Stephen Scotto-Lavino and his Selden, NY team encourage patients to examine their flossing routine to receive maximum benefit from their efforts. Many patients dislike flossing, but the majority of flossing related complaints are actually the result of improper technique. Thorough dental hygiene at home protects teeth from decay, and significantly reduces risk for periodontal (gum) disease. Without proper flossing, you’re not cleaning some of the most at risk parts of your teeth.  Dr. Scotto-Lavino and his team invite you to read more about flossing and its benefits, or call to schedule a dental hygiene visit to find out more.

Flossing Basics

Before beginning a flossing routine, there are a few basics to keep in mind:

Floss daily – The effects of flossing are not always obvious right away. Rather, daily flossing leads to better looking and feeling teeth and gums over a period of time. Don’t let initial discomfort discourage you from your routine.

Floss gently – When flossing or brushing, keep in mind that aggression will not better clean your teeth and gums. Gentle motion is just as effective for removing plaque and debris from teeth and gums, and you will avoid damage to sensitive soft tissue.

Floss effectively – Gently flossing every day is the first step, but proper technique is essential to receiving the full benefit of flossing. Review the flossing tips below, or talk to your hygienist during your next visit.

Choose the right floss style – The floss section at your local pharmacy has likely grown exponentially over the past several years, but for best results, keep it simple. There are two main styles of floss: nylon and polytetrafluoroethylene (PFTE). Nylon dental floss resembles a rope with multiple strands of floss braided to create a single strand. PFTE floss is one, wide strip of floss. The type of floss you choose is apersonal preference. We recommend trying both, and choosing the type that feels best to you.

Flossing Tips

As you get started with your flossing routine, technique is important. First, ensure that you’ve cleaned thoroughly between teeth, while avoiding damage to soft tissue. Your dental hygienist can help you determine a unique flossing style for your bite, but a simple technique for every smile is:

  • Start with about 18” of floss from the spool
  • Wind excess floss around your pointer or middle fingers whichever is more comfortable
  • Leave 2 to 3 inches of floss between fingers
  • Gently position the floss between the front two teeth
  • Carefully, move the floss back and forth below the gum line on both sides of the tooth by shaping the floss into “C” around the front and back of your tooth
  • Repeat for each top and bottom tooth
  • Rinse thoroughly with water or mouthwash

The Benefits of Flossing

  • Cleans gaps between teeth where brushing alone is ineffective
  • Reduces plaque and tartar buildup
  • Reduces risk for tooth decay and gum disease
  • Improves breath
  • Teeth look and feel cleaner

Call the Dentist Port Selden, NY Loves – Dr. Scotto-Lavino

If you’re due for a dental checkup or hygiene appointment, call to schedule your appointment today. Our Port Selden, NY dental NY office welcomes patients from Port Jefferson Station, MT. Sinai, Terryville, Coram, Farmingville, and beyond to experience optimal oral health starting now.

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