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Floss Like a Boss

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

How To: flossing techniques to get the maximum benefits

Our hygienist love teaching our patients proper dental techniques.

Did you know that flossing is good for your dental hygiene, AND good for your overall health? Well...welcome to the Pax blog where we share tips, tricks, and proper techniques for all your dental needs. Our doctors, hygienist and dental assistants are here to help you will daily habits and recommendations to receive maximum benefit for strong teeth.

Proper flossing removes plaque and food particles in places where a toothbrush can't easily reach — under the gumline and between your teeth. Plaque (sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth) build-up can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, daily flossing is recommended

Let us tell you how to floss like a boss and use the following proper technique:

  • Starting with about 18 inches of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with.

  • Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth.

  • Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gumline. Never snap or force the floss, as this may cut or bruise delicate gum tissue.

  • Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth.

  • To remove the floss, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth.

Take a look at this brief video from the American Dental Association (ADA):

Benefits of Flossing For Your Overall Health:

1. Gets rid of plaque

The bacteria in plaque can release acids that attack your tooth enamel. If these acids aren’t removed with brushing and flossing, it can, over time, lead to cavities.

What’s more, a buildup of plaque can harden and turn into tartar, which collects along your gumline. When this happens, you increase the risk of developing gum disease, according to the ADA.

2. Reduces the risk of cavities

Tooth decay can result in a cavity, which causes a tiny opening or hole in the hard surface of your teeth known as enamel.

Although this process takes time, the more plaque you have on the enamel of your teeth, the higher your risk of developing a cavity.

3. Helps prevent gum disease

Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. One of the first signs of gingivitis is inflammation around your gums. Your gums may also bleed when you brush or floss your teeth.

If gingivitis isn’t treated, it can lead to a more serious infection known as periodontitis. This can cause your gums to recede or pull away from your teeth. Your teeth may lose bone support and become loose. If not treated, periodontitis can cause an inflammatory response throughout your body.

Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day can help reduce your risk of gum disease. Professional cleanings done by your dentist every 6 months can also help keep your gums healthy.

4. Reduces bad breath

Bad breath is a common problem. But flossing is one of the tools you can use to keep bad breath away. When food gets trapped between your teeth, it slowly starts to decay. If you don’t remove the food particles, it can cause you to have foul-smelling breath.

5. May help your heart health

Good dental hygiene doesn’t only benefit your teeth and gums. It may benefit your heart health, too.

According to a large 2019 study, participants who adhered to a high standard of oral hygiene had a decreased risk of atrial fibrillation and heart failure.

That said, the American Heart Association, says a connection between oral health and heart health may have more to do with a link between the health of your mouth and the overall health of your body.

Recommendations from dentist:

There are two types of floss used:

  • Nylon (or multifilament) floss

  • PTFE (monofilament) floss

Do you remember getting the cinnamon or bubble gum flavor floss? My personal favorite was the peppermint. Nylon floss is available waxed and unwaxed, flavored or unflavored. This type of floss is composed of many strands of nylon, which causes it to shred or tear easily. between teeth with tight contact points. The monofilament, single strand (PTFE) floss slides easily between teeth, even in tight spaces and is virtually shred-resistant. Guess what? Just like gas prices...this floss can be expensive. Hey, we said we got you! You can use the cheaper nylon floss because we teach you how to use it like a pro. When used properly, both types of floss are excellent at removing plaque and debris.

If it's hard to use regular floss, you can try floss picks, water flossing or a variety of alternative flossing tools. We have floss picks available for purchase at Pax Dental. Come in for an appointment and we can show you the goods!! No matter how you floss, cleaning between your teeth will help keep your smile sparkling.

Ready, Set, Schedule.

Really, we can't wait to meet you! Not sure what you need? Come in for a check-up or for a teeth cleaning. We can take it from there and evaluate what might be the next step in your dental care. You can schedule by phone (301-863-8822) or by our online portal See you soon. Our hygienist are on standby waiting for your call....

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