How to Floss Your Way to Healthier Gums

How to Floss Your Way to Healthier Gums

Did you know that nearly 50% of adults over age 30 in the United States have a form of gum disease? The common condition can lead to potentially serious complications, including tooth loss. Diseased gums may also raise your risk for conditions beyond your oral health, such as heart attack and stroke.

Flossing consistently is a valuable way to improve the health of your gums and to limit your risks of gum disease and its complications.

Our experienced team of dentists at Swinney Dental in Tyler, Texas, diagnose and treat gum disease and provide comprehensive exams and cleanings, where we can assess your gum health and oral hygiene habits.

Take a few moments to learn more about flossing, including ways to floss your way to healthier gums.

Benefits of flossing

Flossing at least once a day can benefit your gums and overall health in numerous ways. And those benefits go beyond removing a stuck bit of greens or popcorn from between your teeth.

Flossing well on a routine basis can improve your gum health by removing harmful bacteria that can buildup and form plaque. Left untouched, plaque build up can form into tartar. Tartar can gather at your gum line, fueling inflammation and gum disease.

In addition to improving your gum health, positive flossing habits may:

Flossing well may also help you feel less anxious or stressed about dental exams and cleanings. If you tend to feel embarrassed or concerned about poor tooth or gum health at your visits, you can rest easier knowing you’ve made efforts in your oral health care routine. As a result, you may feel more inclined to schedule cleanings, which can further improve your gum health. 

How to floss for healthier gums

The American Dental Association recommends five steps for effective flossing, including:

  1. Break off roughly 18 inches of floss and wrap most of it around one of your middle fingers and the remaining floss on the middle finger on your other hand.

  2. Hold the floss firmly between your forefingers and thumbs.

  3. Move the floss between your teeth, gently rubbing the sides all the way down to your gum line.

  4. Once you reach your gums, curve the floss into a slight C-shape against the side of one tooth and then up and down against it.

  5. Repeat the fourth step along the side of the neighboring tooth and repeat the process throughout your mouth using a different part of the floss.

For best results, don’t jam the floss into your gums or forget to floss the backsides of your molars. And while you’re improving your flossing habits, be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time. 

If you’re having trouble flossing, one of our experts can walk you through helpful methods and practical tips at your next exam.

To learn more about effective flossing techniques or get the care you need, call our dental team at Swinney Dental today. You can also schedule an appointment using the convenient online booking feature. 

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