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Our dentist and team stress the importance of practicing proper dental hygiene at home. Dental hygiene, paired with regular dental checkups, can help you achieve and keep ideal oral health. Many people brush as often as they should, but take the importance of flossing for granted. Flossing at least once every day is essential to optimal oral health. Flossing correctly is just as important as flossing every day. Here are a few tips to help you floss properly and effectively:

• Before you begin, wash your hands with an antibacterial soap. This is especially important if you haven’t flossed in a while, as you may experience some bleeding and germs from your hands could infect your gums.
• Use about 18 inches of floss. Wind most of the floss around one of your middle fingers and the rest around the middle finger of the other hand. The finger with less floss will take up floss as it becomes dirty. Only about two inches of floss will run between the teeth at a time. Use the extra floss to change to a new section from time to time. This prevents the transfer of bacteria from one place to another.
• Using your thumbs and index fingers, gently guide the floss between your teeth by moving it back and forth. Never snap the floss into the gums, as this can damage the tissue.
• Using a C-shaped motion, gently slide the floss under the gums against each side of each tooth.
• Gently glide the floss up and down the side of each tooth to remove plaque.
• Make sure to floss the back side of your back teeth.
• If you floss your teeth before brushing, make sure that you brush well afterward. If you brush first, consider using a mouthwash afterward to remove the loosened bacteria from your mouth.
• If you use a floss pick, make sure you don’t transfer bacteria. Switch to a new floss pick as needed.

Talk to our dentist today to learn more about proper dental hygiene.