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Brushing your teeth is very important for your dental health, but your toothbrush can’t do all the work on its own. Brushing needs to be accompanied by flossing in order for your teeth to get completely clean.

Why floss?

Floss or other interdental cleaners clean in between the teeth where the brush can’t reach. Mouthwash is an ineffective substitute for flossing. For a thorough clean, use all three–brushing, flossing, and mouthwash.

Are there any alternatives to flossing?

If you have trouble with traditional dental floss, that’s okay–there are other options available to you. As long as your habit stays consistent, any of these options should work for you. Pre-strung flossers are a great option, especially for kids who are just learning how to floss on their own. Floss for sensitive gums can be helpful to those whose gums bleed often when they floss (this can also happen at the beginning of your flossing habit, but gets better over time). Water flossers are also a good option, particularly if your hands have trouble maneuvering traditional dental floss.

Is there a “right” way to floss?

Yes, and luckily, it’s easy! Use a piece of single-filament dental floss about 18 inches long. Wrap it around one finger of each hand, leaving some slack floss in between. Gently guide the slack floss in between your teeth using a gentle sawing motion, removing plaque and debris. Be slow and gentle when doing this, or you risk cutting your gums.

For more information, call Eric Goldberg, DDS in Exton, Pennsylvania, at 610-363-6181. Dr. Eric Goldberg and our team look forward to helping your smile shine!