Flossing Your Teeth

Have you ever found yourself trying to find out the best way to solve a problem, knowing the solution, but purposely ignoring it?


Because we are very stubborn people, we do it all the time.

Let me give you an example to see if I could make this question more understandable. Last year I was checking my email at work, and I notice that one of my best friends had sent me an email. Curious to know what it was I open it and it read something like this “Your friend has written an important message to you if you want to see it click here.”

I thought it look suspicious, but I still went on and clicked to see what my friend had to say, and what I noticed was that my friend never wrote anything to me and it was all a virus. So I started calling people to see how much they would charge me to clean the virus from my computer, and when I heard the price, I figure that maybe cleaning a virus was not that difficult.

Long story short, I broke the computer, and I had to buy a new one for a lot more money than what people were charging me to get the virus out. I knew the solution to the problem, but I purposely ignored it.

It’s the same with brushing and flossing

In the same way, when people come to my office with a beginning or a severe gum disease, I usually ask them if they knew that brushing and flossing every day would have prevented it. Their answer is usually yes, but at times lack of commitment or laziness made them ignored this solution.

In this article, we are going to go over the importance of flossing, and the best way of doing it. But we will start plaque, the reason we need to brush and floss.

What is Plaque? Know your enemy

Your mouth has one great enemy known as plaque. Plaque is formed by the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth.

The plaque is usually found in the line that separates the teeth and the gums. Its goal is to form decay in the teeth, and as a result, the patient may suffer from gum disease.

Brushing twice a day removes the plaque from teeth, but brush can’t reach between the teeth. By flossing, you remove the plaque from the regions where the brush cannot reach and prevent a possible infection.

Guide to proper flossing

Here is a basic guide to proper flossing:

  1. Cut a piece of floss to around 18 inches long.
  2. Wrap one end of the floss around the middle finger of the left hand and the other end around the middle finger of the right hand until the hands are 2-3 inches apart.
  3. Move the floss gently up and down between the teeth toward the gum line.
  4. Curve the floss in a U-shape around each tooth and carefully slide it beneath the gum line.
  5. Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth
  6. Carefully remove the plaque and debris from between the teeth.

***NOTE: Do not pop the floss in and out between the teeth as this will inflame and cut the gums. Sawing the floss back and fourth does not help cleaning because it may actually wear grooves in the teeth.

Are there any alternatives to flossing?

Many people don’t floss because they are lazy. If you are one of them, you can try one of the alternatives to regular flossing. For example, you can find floss handles or try floss picks. If you don’t like either solution, try Stimudents. They are many people prefer them to flossing.

I have found that they have two great advantages over flossing. Here they are:

  1. Easy: they are known for being very easy to use; you can easily use them with only one hand. Also, you may take them anywhere and use them at any time, even in the car as you are on your way to work.
  2. Effective: when they are used properly, they have shown to clean as well or at times even better than when you floss. I have treated patients with severely inflamed gums, whose disease literally stop within two weeks once they started using Stimudents regularly.


Because we care about our community, we hope you use this information wisely and take advantage of the advice and suggestions we provided. Remember that 7 Day Dental is open 365 days a year for you and your family.


Flossing by Chuck Le – Emergency Dentist

Dr. Chuck Le
7 Day DentalOwner


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