Flossing cleans areas that the toothbrush misses

Flossing cleans areas that the toothbrush misses

Flossing teeth after brushing is putting the final touch on a health routine that’s designed to keep away tooth decay and gum disease. Because it takes a little more effort than brushing, it’s often ignored when one is trying to get out the door in the morning or too tired to wrangle with dental floss before bedtime.

But flossing achieves what a toothbrush cannot and may result in fewer trips to the dentist office. It gets rid of tiny bits of food and bacteria that the brush doesn’t reach, and by removing them, also carries away plaque that could otherwise build up and cause tooth decay. Keeping the gums free of bacteria also prevents gingivitis, the most common form of gum disease.

Dentists recommend flossing at least once – and preferably twice – each day. It’s important to get slightly under the gumline by gently curving the floss around the bottom of each tooth, then slide the dental floss up and down between the teeth to fight plaque build-up there as well.

About 18 inches of dental floss will allow one to wind the floss well around fingers on each hand and create the tautness needed to maneuver around each tooth.

Types of floss
Multifilament or monofilament? Those are the two types of floss, and each has its advantages. Nylon (multifilament) floss comes in different flavors and is available in unwaxed or waxed versions, which some people find allows it to slip more easily between the teeth. Waxed floss works better between teeth with fillings or crowns. However, it’s more likely to shred at close contact points when the separate nylon strands may separate.

PTFE (monofilament) slides most easily and doesn’t shred. For this convenience, it’s a little more expensive.

There are also wide-sized flosses available for people who have a lot of dental bridges or wide spaces between each tooth.

An alternative is to use flossers, which are disposable flossing tools that hold a short strand taut within the tool, which resembles a tiny saw. A small handle allows one to slide the floss easily between teeth and maneuver into tight spots. People with limited dexterity or arthritis may find flossers easier to use, according to KnowYourTeeth.com.

While not as effective as flossing, water picks also remove food particles by loosening them with a stream of water aimed at spaces between teeth. While they won’t remove plaque, they help people with orthodontic braces clean out the food bits that become lodged in their teeth.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
I have been going to this location to get my teeth cleaned for a few years now. My original hygienist moved to another location so I have had quite a few different ones during my past few cleanings. […]
Jemekia T.
I have been a patient of this Dental practice for about 20 years. I have never had a bad experience with the staff, technicians, the Doctors, or the facility. I have always been treated with respect, […]
Diania W.
Dental One has the most upbeat staff that make a dentist visit pleasurable. They are not only friendly but very helpful and knowledgeable They also work with you to keep costs down when you don’t […]
Russ W.
Everyone was so polite, courteous and knowledgeable. They really met my needs.
Beverly J.
Concern, friendliness, professionalism and knowledge
Dianne B.
Good dentist, good hygienist, good service – especially at short notice and nice, friendly staff
Elizabeth P.
The dental hygienists and dentist are much kinder, better customer service than great expressions – the place I used to go to.
Angelica D.
I would recommend this location to anyone who’s in need of an awesome Dentist or Orthodontist….staff here are great!!!!
Farah L.
My Hygienist, Uma was very thorough and explained what steps I can take to improve my gum health.
Walt L.
Dr Wheeless and her assistant made me feel comfortable and answered all of my questions.
Deborah O.
Young professionals and very knowledgeable of patients care and concerns. I was very satisfied with Dr. B!! I highly recommend her..
Patrick S.
Awesome experience from beginning to end! I came in for receding gums, and the doctors set up a a treatment plan that was quick and easy. I had me teeth cleaned today, and the staff was gentle and […]
Michelle S.
The level of treatment
Gail K.
Just had my deep cleaning with Dr Washington and His team Toya and Kesha was very helpful and nice ..The office manager made sure everything was OK with the service. Thanks Keisha for staying on me […]
Taiwan C.
Friendly and professional staff. They make me feel comfortable.
Steve P.
My overall experience with Dr. Thornton and her staff was excellent. Everyone was professional and courteous.
Jennifer W.
I do not have any complaints. Clean, well maintained.
Thelma T.
The staff is wonderful and so is our dentist …she is kind, patient and very knowledgeable.
Deborah H.
Always have everything taken care of. The Staff is personable and professional.
Aaron C.
The very best care I have ever had – and I am an older lady. Hats off to everyone – from the greeter who is friendly and efficient. To the person handling the billing who worked hard to get my […]
Alena A.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
Learn More

We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

No Insurance? No Worries! See our discounts and offers here