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Dr. Clifton’s Flossiphies
Posted on 07/21/2015

Dr. Clifton’s Flossiphies

Written by: televoxweb
7/21/2015 9:29 PM

“Don’t forget to floss.”

Since our first trip to the dentist as children we have grown accustomed to hearing this advice with every visit. However, equally as routine for most people is the subsequent agreement to do so, which is not often followed up on. In fact, according to the American Dental Association, 50% of Americans do not floss daily while approximately 18% never floss at all.

If you are one such forget-to-flosser, your rationale is likely the idea that if you don’t get food stuck in between your teeth, brushing is enough. However, what you may not be aware of is that flossing does more than just get chunks of spare meat and corn kernels out of your chompers. The truth is, that flossing also protects your mouth from various diseases, particularly gum disease.

Protect Yourself From Gum Disease & More

Every morning when you wake up, a thin layer of bacteria (i.e. plaque) has formed on and around your teeth. And while brushing can get rid of the layers on the fronts and backs of your teeth, flossing best removes that which has built up between them. Forget to floss and over time that bacteria can harden into tartar that burrows beneath your gums and causes gum disease, gingivitis, and tissue inflammation. Think that’s scary? Wait, there’s more.

If not treated, gingivitis can progress into periodontal disease (a bone disease that is the number one cause of tooth loss). Moreover, some studies have also shown a link between gum disease and other serious medical conditions such as heart disease and stroke.

This might all sound intimidating, but be assured that there is no need to go off into a panic. You don’t have to fight tooth and nail to keep these problems away. In fact, keeping up with good dental and oral health is easy. The simple solution: in addition to your normal brushing routine, floss at least once a day (preferably at night so that your teeth are clean when you go to bed).

Floss The Right Way

As far as the specifics go, here is a step-by-step guide to proper flossing technique:

  • Step 1: Pull about 18 inches of floss from the dispenser
  • Step 2: Wrap most of the floss around your middle fingers, leaving a couple inches pulled tightly between them
  • Step 3: Using your index fingers and thumbs as guides, slide the floss between teeth – reaching just beneath the gumline to remove particles/plaque
  • Step 4: Unwrapping clean floss as you go, repeat the steps above to clean between all teeth, including your back teeth

Note, your gums might bleed a little when you start flossing. This is normal and should go away. If the bleeding persists after several flossings, let one of our team members know during your next appointment.

At the end of the day, flossing is one of those little things that can make a big difference. It can prevent serious problems such as gum disease and tooth decay, and also safeguard your mouth against simple annoyances like bad breath. Overall, it will help you retain a younger, whiter, healthier smile and will only cost you a minute a day.

So… “Don’t forget to floss.”