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You may have seen an article sometime in the last few years about flossing and how it is supposedly not backed by scientific evidence. You may even have wondered why our dentist keeps insisting that you floss every day. The reason is that those articles have seriously misrepresented and misunderstood the studies they refer to. They prefer using sensationalist headlines instead of really understanding what the studies say.

There were several studies that have been cited in those articles, and one shows both the problem and the solution. In this study, one group of people had their teeth flossed by a hygienist every day and another flossed their own. The group with the professional flossing was nearly half as likely as the other group to develop cavities. The difference between flossing technique is what makes the difference.

In general, flossing technique is sloppy and ineffective. A taught length of floss is snapped between a pair of teeth, pulled down and up, irritating the gums and barely scraping the teeth. This technique doesn’t do you any good. You need to use the floss with more care to get the benefit from flossing your teeth. Here’s what you do instead.

To floss your teeth properly, take 18-24 inches of floss from your dispenser and wrap the ends around your fingers until you have a length of 3-4 inches between them. Hold the floss tightly against a tooth ad pull it into a C-shape so it covers all sides of the teeth. Pull the floss back and forth from front to back and up and down. This will ensure the most coverage and effectiveness in removing plaque.

For more information about proper hygiene techniques or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Reeve Abraben, feel free to contact Lake City Family Dental Center, PA in Lake City, Florida, today!