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Gum disease starts out as an inflammation of gum tissues caused by the bacterial presence of hardened tartar at the gumline. An effective and consistent oral hygiene regimen is the first line of defense against tartar formation. Removing stray food particles and plaque from between teeth and the gumline calls for a thorough flossing technique.

This starts by wrapping excess floss around your middle fingers. Grip the strand firmly between your thumb and index fingers. Once the strand has been inserted between two teeth, you should work it around your teeth in a “C” shape. Then you gently clear the space between the teeth by making several small passes along the length of the tooth.

Be sure to also floss thoroughly into the gumline as well as behind each of your last molars. These areas can often be prone to trapping stray food material and plaque.

The American Dental Association advocates brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing in the evening. It’s best to do this after you’re done eating for the day to reduce the amount of bacterial matter in your mouth while you sleep.

If you find that you’re having trouble working the strand of floss into an area, you might want to try using a waxed variety. This will help you slide the floss in place, reducing the risk of snapping it and potentially wounding your gums.

If you live in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area and you have flossing questions, you can call 215-463-6677 to speak to a staff member at Periodontal Consultants.