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Everyone knows by now that proper brushing and flossing is the key to a healthy oral foundation. The American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day. Flossing removes the tiny bits of food particles and plaque that stick to teeth. And while your toothbrush is designed to clean this debris from your pearly whites, it cannot reach in between the teeth which are also prone to tooth decay.

Proper flossing means being thorough. You can floss before or after brushing, before bed or any other time of day which works best for you. Just make sure you spend enough time to be thorough.

Floss is often available in flavors to help with the breath, and nylon floss comes waxed or unwaxed which sometimes shreds while using. Single filament floss does not tear and is slightly more expensive. Either one does the job.

Once you have chosen your floss, monofilament or multifilament floss, it is time to perfect your technique. First, pull out approximately 18 inches of the floss from the dispenser. You will want to wrap it around each of your middle fingers, with about an inch or so of floss that you will be cleaning with.

Next, keep the floss taut between your thumbs and your index fingers. Gently slide it between your teeth in an up and down movement. Then, make a U shape around the bottom of each tooth, hitting below the gum line as well. Move gently so that you don’t harm the gum tissue, moving back and forth and up and down against the side of each tooth. Be sure to use clean sections of the floss string when you move on from each tooth.

And that is all there is to it! Take the time to floss daily, and take the time to be thorough. Your teeth and gums will thank you. Please call Algiers Dental Associates at 504-361-3277 if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment.