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You may be the best brusher in the world. You may brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, rinse your mouth with a top-quality mouthwash that fights plaque and bad breath, and top it all off with a piece of sugarless gum, But what about your dental floss? Do you use it every day, or is it gathering dust in the corner of your medicine cabinet, or lost somewhere in a drawer in your bathroom? Flossing removes the food debris and attacks the plaque between your teeth. No matter how well you brush, and no matter how well you rinse, you will not be able to reach between your teeth. If you don’t clean those spaces, you are still at risk for gum disease and tooth loss. With that in mind, let’s find that lonely container of floss and get to work.

You will need to start with approximately 18 inches of floss. Wrap the majority of it around each middle finger, and grasp about two inches between your thumbs and forefingers. Start flossing at your back teeth by curving the floss around the tooth and then flossing first below, and then away from your gumline. You should use a fresh section of floss for each tooth to avoid spreading the food debris around your mouth. Dispose of the floss when you are finished.

It does not matter if you floss before or after you brush, as long as you do a careful job of both. If you wear braces, you should make a habit of flossing after each meal, since food can become stuck in your dental work. If you wear a bridge, you should make sure the you floss around that as well. If you have range of motion issues, or if you are having trouble flossing around your dental work, you might want to try a water flosser or a floss threader.

Even if you have mastered brushing and flossing, you still need to see Dr. Phuong Nguyen at Tacoma Washington Dentist in Fircrest, Washington, for your routine appointments. If you would like to schedule a visit, call us today at .