A Guide to Flossing & How to Floss Your Teeth

A Guide to Flossing and How to Floss Your Teeth


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Guide to Flossing - How to Floss Your Teeth

Flossing For Life

Dentistry is more than just teeth, it is about helping people with kindness and consideration, and guiding each person to a healthier, happier life. Unhealthy risks are lurking between your teeth, so try Flossing for Life! 

Flossing may protect your heart, reduce the risk of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, elevated cholesterol, Alzheimers, type 2 diabetes, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, (COPD) and pneumonia. Studies show that severe gum disease correlates with a dramatic increase in breast cancer. Flossing daily, along with regular professional cleanings helps prevent gum disease. 

Without regular flossing, your mouth and body can really suffer. Bacterial film (or plaque) accumulates on neglected teeth below the gum line. Gums become irritated and bleed and breath starts to smell bad. After a day or two plaque hardens into deposits, called tartar, that make it easier for more plaque to build up. Eventually, lack of flossing can lead to gingivitis, periodontal disease, and tooth loss. Fewer teeth lead to facial wrinkles and an aged appearance.

Flossing Research

New research suggests that regular flossing may affect more than the health of your mouth:

  • Flossing may protect your heart. Research has shown that periodontitis produces twice the risk of cardiovascular disease and elevated cholesterol.
  • Flossing may protect your arteries. Researchers also speculate that bacteria from the mouth may enter the bloodstream and contribute to inflammation and artery-clogging.
  • Flossing may reduce your risk of diabetes and its complications. Periodontal disease appears to make insulin resistance worse. Increases in blood insulin and blood sugar increase the development of type 2 diabetes.
  • Flossing may reduce your risk of stroke and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Flossing may reduce the risk for respiratory infections, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia.

How to Floss Your Teeth

Short of a visit to the dentist, no other oral healthcare habit alone has the same ability to remove plaque between teeth and below your gum line. Brush and floss properly every day. See a dental professional for cleaning at least two to four times per year and review your flossing techniques. When you floss, use these tips to get the most out of flossing: 

  • Slide the floss under your gum line and to gently curl it around each tooth as you floss.
  • Floss gently, but don't quit because your gums bleed Eventually, they will bleed less with regular flossing.
  • Use fresh floss for each tooth juncture.

Look for these signs of gum disease if you don’t floss:

  • Bleeding gums during brushing
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Pus between the teeth and gums
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

Simple daily flossing can clean away the bacteria around the teeth which cause an inflammatory reaction that have an effect throughout the body. Gum disease caused by bacteria results in loss of teeth and bone in the mouth causing wrinkles and an aged facial appearance. Gum disease increases the risk in the body of cardiovascular disease, elevated cholesterol, artery-clogging atherosclerosis, increases the development of type 2 diabetes, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory infections such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia. Flossing has the remarkable ability to prevent these problems successfully from home. Brush and floss properly every day.

How to Floss Your Teeth

5 Steps for Perfect Flossing

Remember to wash your hands with soap before and after you floss.

The American Dental Association recommends these 5 steps to proper flossing:

We know we should floss at least once a day, but not everyone knows the right way to do it. Use this step-by-step guide to find out how to properly floss your teeth:

Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty.
Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.
Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Never snap the floss into the gums.
When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.
Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget the back side of your last tooth.

Once you’re finished, throw the floss away. A used piece of floss won’t be as effective and could leave bacteria behind in your mouth.

Talk to your dentist about what types of oral care products will be most effective for you. Look for products that contain the ADA Seal of Acceptance so you know they have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness.


Flossing: So Easy, A Monkey Can Do It

"Making sure your offspring know how to clean their teeth appears to be as important to monkeys as to humans.

Female monkeys in Thailand have been observed showing their young how to floss their teeth - using human hair.

Researchers from Japan said they watched seven long-tailed macaques cleaning the spaces between their teeth in the same manner as humans.

They spent double the amount of time flossing when they were being watched by their infants, the team said.

This suggests the mothers were deliberately teaching their young how to floss, Professor Nobuo Masataka of Kyoto University's Primate Research Institute said.

What Is The Length Of Time For A Cavity To Get To The Nerve?

The distance from the surface of a tooth to the nerve inside ranges from less than a millimeter to about one-quarter of an inch depending on the type of tooth.

As bacterial acid in the mouth dissolves the enamel surface of the tooth it causes a growing opening which is called a cavity.

How fast this opening enlarges and travels a few millimeters depends on the amount of acid present, how intact the tooth has become as it has grown to adult size, how many surface defects there are, and how many scars, abrasions or fractures are in the surface enamel or dentin.

Tooth Decay model

How Long Does It Take For A Cavity To Hurt?

Should you wait till your tooth hurts?

Most people are amazed to learn that cavities start as microscopic pits. They result from an acidic imbalance in the normal chemistry around the enamel layer of a tooth. When the tooth is attacked by acid (usually produced by germs that live in the mouth) the surface layer dissolves. Gradually the tiny pit grows larger and larger until it finally reaches the soft inner part of the tooth called dentin.

This dissolving process can take many years, or sometimes may seem to happen almost overnight. Some times very small cavities are very sensitive, and some very large cavities are not at all. In either case, when the germs causing the cavity reach the far inside of the tooth (commonly called the ‘nerve’ or ‘pulp’)...

Tooth Pain

Do You Need a Root Canal? Toothaches, Unnecessary Root Canals and Extractions

How Do I Know If I Need a Root Canal?

We had 50 patients for dental pain in the last 4 weeks. Half of the patients were convinced they needed a root canal treatment.

A complete diagnosis was undertaken. This included a full history, X- ray, review of prior x rays, palpation of the area, occlusion (or biting) slight percussion (tapping), a gentle air stream, vitality testing, photography for fractures, and comparison to 30 years of similar clinical histories.

Dental X- rays usually showed cloudiness or calcification of the maxillary sinus on one or both sides. This together with marked tenderness in the maxillary tuberosity distal to the root of the last molar indicates a history of sinus inflammation.

Composite Fillings

Cavity Fillings: Do They Hurt? How Laser Dentistry Painlessly Remove Cavities

Laser offers a drill-free, pain-free dental experience

Cavities form when bacteria grow around the teeth. We always have bacteria in our mouths but when we eat some sugary foods, and the food sticks to the teeth, bacteria love to feast on the sugar and reproduce, forming colonies of growing germs. Each germ produces acid from the sugar that we have eaten, and the acid then start a tiny hole in the tooth surface by dissolving away the enamel that protects the tooth and keeps it able to chew.

When the hole gets large enough it opens the dentin underneath, and then no amount of brushing or flossing can remove the bacteria that grow in that opening.

How Laser Dentistry Painlessly Remove Cavities

Cavity Treatment: How Long Should You Wait?

It’s sad when you visit the dentist and you find out you have cavities.

Most people want to know an exact number, but scientifically, cavities are holes caused by an infection of bacteria and there are an infinite number of them in any one tooth.

The bacteria are trapped in tooth crevices or under the gums, and create cavities that are shallow, medium or deep, and in between too!

The answer most people are really want to know is: what is the cutoff between when should you put a filling in and when you either wait or treat with preventive dental techniques.

The stages of caries on the molar -- 3D Rendering

Why Does My Tooth Hurt After a Filling?

Does Your New Filling Hurt?

Like other parts of the body, if teeth are injured, there are nerves that say ouch.

A cavity in your tooth is a hole which is formed by germs that live in your mouth. The germs produce acid which enlarges the cavity, the deeper the cavity, the more the tooth nerve responds. It can become hyper sensitive and say ouch more quickly, and last a longer time before quieting down.

A filling removes the softened bad part, and an artificial replacement is put back in. Small cavities are repaired with fillings, larger ones with onlays or crowns.


Tooth-colored Fillings: Dental Composites

Tooth Colored Fillings

Dental composites, also called "white fillings"

Modern dental fillings differ greatly from those in the recent and distant past. 6000 year ago, beeswax was used to fill cavities. Fast forward to 2000 years ago and gold, which is both malleable and durable was used by the Etruscans to make fillings and even crowns. The first use of silver was in a Chinese medical book dated about 1400 years ago, and the first attempts at making tooth colored crowns were about 250 years ago.

These days you can choose a filing material that blends in so well with your natural teeth that one cannot tell the difference between a filling and a tooth. The new tooth colored fillings are made of a blend of resin and a filler such as silica, quartz or glass. The filling is bonded into the tooth and then shaped to resemble an ideal tooth shape, and to function well during chewing and speaking.

Composite Fillings

Dan S. – Middletown, NJ

“After getting my veneers, I felt great. The feeling you get when you get a new smile cannot be explained.” 

Stephanie R

“I always have a great experience at Dr. Korwin’s. Thank you for making my smile one I can be proud of in photos!” – Google

Dr. Rogers F., Highlands, NJ

“Dr. Korwin is simply a superlative dental practitioner, the finest I have ever encountered.”

Check-up for Cavities in Red Bank & Middletown, NJ

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