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Why should I floss?


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Why should I floss?

Proper flossing removes plaque and food particles in places where a toothbrush cannot easily reach — under the gum line and between your teeth. Daily flossing is highly recommended, because plaque build-up can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

How to use dental floss

  1. Break off about 45cm (18in) of floss, and wind some around one finger of each hand.
  2. Hold it tightly between your thumbs and forefingers, with about an inch of floss between them, leaving no slack.
  3. Use a gentle “rocking” motion to guide the floss between your teeth. Don’t snap it into the gums.
  4. When the floss reaches your gumline, curve it into a C-shape against one tooth until you feel resistance.
  5. Hold the floss against the tooth. Gently scrape the side of the tooth, moving it away from the gum. Repeat on the other side of the gap, along the side of the next tooth.
  6. Don’t forget the back of your last tooth.
  7. When flossing, keep to a regular pattern. Start at the top and work from left to right, then move to the bottom and again work from the left to right. This way you’re less likely to miss any teeth. Always stand in front of a mirror so you can see what you are doing

The easiest way to show you is with a video. So here’s one from our friends over at Oral B: click here

Aside from dental floss, there are lots of other ways to floss your teeth. We really love interdental brushes here at the practice. They’re like tiny little toothbrushes for between your teeth! Our hygienist, Cass, will properly size you up to make sure that you’re using the right size.

You may also need a different type of floss if you are wearing braces. Superfloss is great for brace wearers, as it threads between your teeth and braces, and you pull it out the other side.

And then there’s also flossettes, which are really helpful if you struggle with dexterity. They have little handles on them and are great for reaching the back teeth.


Our hygienist will be able to help you with flossing techniques, as well as tooth brushing advice and any other oral health questions you may have, so we recommend seeing her at least every 6 months!

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