How many times have you visited the dentist only to be asked the question you dread: Have you been flossing? The fact is, few of us ever take the time to clean between our teeth and many that do aren’t doing it correctly. How do you floss correctly? What makes this preventive step so important?
Question: How do you floss?
Answer: Taking a length of floss tape, you wrap one end around one thumb, holing it tightly with your forefinger. You then wrap the other end around the opposite thumb, again holding it firm with the forefinger. Then, you floss up and down the length of each side of the tooth, going under the gums each time. If necessary, you can start with a floss pick instead of the tape.
Question: How does flossing help your smile?
Answer: Cleaning between your teeth removes the bits of food that a toothbrush cannot reach. This means that bacteria never have a chance to break down these particles, a process that leads to plaque buildup, oral acidity, and a greater risk of tooth decay and gingivitis.
Question: What are the warning signs of poor gum health?
Answer: You may notice your gums appear more red than usual or feel sensitive/bleed easily. This could be a warning sign of gingivitis, so you should see your dentist right away for a diagnosis. Remember, gingivitis can be reversed, while gum disease is incurable. In addition, the warning signs of tooth decay may include tooth sensitivity to hot or old temperatures or possibly a persistent toothache.
Question: Should I also be brushing my teeth?
Answer: Yes. You also need to brush your teeth in the morning and again at night for at least two minutes per session.
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