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El Portal Dental Blog

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Why Do We Need to Floss?

We know you hate it, but flossing really does preserve the health and aesthetics of your smile.

Every six months, when you visit your dentist for a cleaning, you always have to listen to a lecture of how important it is to floss. We know you don’t like to hear it but we have to do our part of educating our patients the benefits of flossing. 

Flossing does about 40% of the work required to remove sticky bacteria, or plaque, from your teeth. Plaque generates acid, which can cause cavities, irritate the gums, and lead to gum disease. People who preserve the height of that bone by flossing look better as they age.

Choosing the Right Dental Floss

Most floss is made of either nylon or Teflon, and both are equally effective.

1.    If you have larger spaces between their teeth or with gum recession (loss of gum tissue, which exposes the roots of the teeth) tend to get better results with a flat, wide dental tape.

2.    If your teeth are close together, try thin floss (sometimes made of Gore-Tex) that bills itself as shred resistant.

3.  Bridges and braces call for a defter touch to get underneath the restorations or wires and between the teeth. Use a floss threader, which looks like a plastic sewing needle.

Flossing Tips

Perfect your flossing technique. Use a piece of floss 15 to 18 inches long, slide it between the teeth, wrap it around each tooth in the shape of a "C," and polish with an up and down motion.

Don't worry about a little blood.  Bleeding means the gums are inflamed because plaque has built up and needs to be cleaned away. Don't let that deter you.  Bleeding after a few days, however, could be a sign of periodontal disease. Talk to your dentist. Call El Portal Dental Group for appointment!