At Home Dental Care

Flossing Tips

An important, yet often forgotten part of a healthy oral health routine, many people do not spend enough time flossing or they neglect to floss at all.  Flossing once a day greatly decreases the risk of gum disease and helps to maintain proper oral health throughout your lifetime.  

WHY SHOULD I FLOSS?

Flossing reaches where brushing cannot, in between the teeth.  It removes debris and plaque which adheres to the teeth and gums, which in turn controls bad breath and polishes the tooth surfaces.  

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I FLOSS?

Flossing should occur at least once per day, for 2 – 3 minutes, and right before bed.  

WHAT IS THE PROPER FLOSSING TECHNIQUE?

There are two acceptable methods for flossing:

  1. The spool method:  Wrap the bulk of an 18 inch piece of floss around one middle finger.  Use the opposite middle finger to wrap the other end, and then use that finger to take up and soiled or frayed floss as you move through the teeth.    
  2. The loop method:  Tie an 18 inch piece of floss in a circle secured with three knots.  Place all of your fingers, minus the thumb, inside the loop and use the index fingers to guide the floss through the lower teeth and the thumbs to guide the floss through the upper teeth.  This is a good method if you have limited dexterity.  

Do not rub the floss from side to side, but instead use an up and down motion forming a C.

Don’t rub the floss from side to side. Instead, use an up-and-down motion, forming a “C” on the side of each tooth. Make sure to floss below the gum line. Flossing should not be painful, but you may experience some discomfort or bleeding when you first start. These side effects should subside in a week or two. If they don’t, talk to your dentist.

WHICH KIND OF FLOSS SHOULD I USE?

There are a variety of flosses available, and all of them do a similar job of re- moving plaque. Wide floss, or dental tape, may be beneficial for those with a lot of bridge work or a lot of space between their teeth, while waxed floss may be easier to fit between tight teeth or restorations.

Unwaxed floss makes a squeaking sound to let you know when your teeth are clean. Bonded unwaxed floss does not fray as easily as regular unwaxed floss, but it does tear more than waxed floss.

Another option is pre-threaded flossers or floss holders. These are useful for those with limited dexterity, those just learning to floss, or caretakers who are flossing someone else’s teeth.

If you have children, you should start flossing their teeth as soon as they have two teeth that touch each other.

SHOULD I USE A WATER PICK?

A water pick, or irrigation device, should not be used as a substitute for brushing and flossing because it does not remove plaque. However, water picks can be used to remove food from the areas around braces where a toothbrush can’t reach. Dentists also may recommend that patients with gum disease use a water pick with an antibacterial agent in the reservoir.

If you have questions about what type of floss to use or the best method for flossing your teeth, be sure to ask your dentist.

About Our Clinic

Welcome to Signal Hill Dental Centre, a general dental clinic located in SW Calgary. Our team is dedicated to providing our patients with honest and caring dental treatments so that they are able to achieve and maintain optimal oral and overall health goals.

At our clinic, our team strives to offer our services that make visits to the dentist convenient for you. This includes:

  • Clinic hours open 7 days a week
  • Extended hours (early mornings, evenings, and weekend)
  • Direct billing insurance
  • Same day emergency dental appointments
  • Comparable and up to date pricing
  • Guided Biofilm Therapy (GBT) Certified

We offer a range of dental services including general cleaning, emergency dentistry, children dentistry, dental repairs, Invisalign teeth straightening, Botox for TMJ/TMD and more. We offer Swiss technology Guided Biofilm Therapy (GBT), which comes standard in all hygiene cleaning appointments.

The core of our clinic values is focused around providing great customer service. We treat our patients as if they were a part of our own staff or family. Our knowledgable team constantly ensures continuous communication and education so that our patients are comfortable through each procedure.

Our SW Calgary dental clinic is accepting new patients. If you would like to meet with one of our Dentists or book a consultation, please contact us and we would be delighted to arrange an appointment.

We look forward to serving you.

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