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Brushing your teeth is important for your overall oral 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 totally clean.

Why floss?

Flossing cleans between teeth. This is important, because a toothbrush doesn’t clean in between teeth very well. Floss or other interdental cleaners clean in between the teeth where the brush can’t reach. Mouthwash is also an ineffective substitute for flossing. For the best clean, use all three–brushing, flossing, and mouthwash.

Are there any substitutes?

If you have trouble with traditional dental floss, there are other options available to 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 help those whose gums bleed often or get irritated when they floss. 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. Take a piece of single-filament dental floss about 18” long. wrap it around one finger of each hand, leaving some slack in between. Gently guide the floss in between your teeth using a gentle sawing motion, removing plaque and debris.

For more information, call Clagett Cosmetic and Family Dentistry in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, at 270-769-3306. Drs. Clagett, Milby and our team look forward to helping your smile shine!