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How to use dental floss

1. Take a LONG strip of floss (14 inches). Wrap ends around middle fingers.

2. Grab strip of floss between thumb and index finger. Ease the floss or floss pick between your teeth.

3. Make a ‘C shape’ with the floss around one tooth and slide up the side of the tooth going underneath the gum as far as it will comfortably go.

4. Now move floss up to contact area between teeth, and then down again sliding on the side of the other tooth in the gap.

5. Repeat for the other teeth.

Floss once per day. Time wise, it should take about 5 minutes a day

Flossing is essential for not just cleaning between teeth, but also below the gum line to avoid periodontal disease. If you are not a daily flosser, try floss picks.

To convince you of the need to floss, try it once and (sorry) smell the floss afterwards. You don’t want that sitting between your teeth undisturbed!

For the science-minded, flossing is not just about removing food and plaque, by flossing you are also disturbing an evolving ecosystem of plaque known as a biofilm. A biofilm is a sticky, hard to remove home for bacteria made of layers. By flossing, we disturb this biofilm disrupting the plaques ability to damage our gums, teeth and bone.

Dr John Bresnan

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