Flossing 101 From Our Saint Louis Dentist

Written by Dr. Grayem on Nov 29, 2022

One of the best things that you can do for your smile is to maintain a diligent daily oral hygiene routine. Even the most serious dental patients can sometimes develop bad habits, or get a little lazy when it comes to cleaning their smiles day and night. That’s why our Saint Louis dentists are here with some tips and reminders on how to get the most out of your routine with flossing!

The American Dental Association’s general recommendation is that dental patients floss their smiles—top and bottom—once a day. This simple habit helps to dislodge food particles as well as compacted plaque and bacteria. The best time to floss your smile is a night right before you brush your teeth. This allows you to manually disrupt plaque in those hard-to-reach spaces between teeth, before you promptly brush and rinse it away.

Some patients will need to floss more frequently than once a day: patients battling entrenched gum disease being one example. Your dentist will let you know if you should adopt a different flossing schedule; feel free to ask your dentist if you aren’t sure!

When you’re flossing, you want to move the floss gently up and down along the entire length of your tooth. Make sure that you guide the floss down into the gum tissue as far as it can comfortably go; the spots where your gum tissue and dental enamel meet are prime areas of bacteria accumulation.

Additionally, you should be using a fresh section of your long piece of floss between each tooth. You don’t want to inadvertently compound the bacteria between your teeth as you move along your smile.

If you are out of the habit of flossing, then you may find that your gum tissue is prone to bleeding when you clean between your teeth. This is normal, and should resolve itself as you continue to floss daily. If, however, you find that your gums do not stop bleeding over time, please talk to your dentist so that he or she can check for underlying gum tissue infections.

As always, our Saint Louis dentists are here to give you all of the information and support that you need to refine your daily oral hygiene routine. Give us a call to learn more!