Roanoke Medicaid DentistAre you in the category of people who don’t believe regular flossing is important?  Imagine your teeth are like boxes stacked up against each other.  Two sides show while two sides are against each other.  Now imagine how well a tooth brush can clean the two sides of your teeth that are against one another.  Not very well, right?

Brushing alone simply isn’t enough to reach the plaque from the inside surface between your teeth. The interproximal areas or places between your teeth and below the gum line are two spots where the toothbrush simply can’t reach and food particles get stuck, becoming a perfect growth environment for plaque.  These are the places where cavities are also likely to develop.  Once plaque hardens, it has to be removed at the dentist’s office.  Daily flossing can help clean out the plaque before it completely hardens, keeping your teeth healthier, looking better and eliminating a major cause of bad breath.  Like we say at the office, “You only need to floss the ones that you want to keep!”  

Dental floss looks like thread, usually made of inorganic material such as nylon.  Dental floss comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes including waxed, non-waxed, flat, round and textured, with baking soda and sometimes fluoride.  So when flossing, find one that you like.  

Dental floss usually comes on a roll in a plastic container.  Pull off a couple of feet of floss, it’s cheap and it makes the job much easier.  Next, wind one end around your index finger a couple of times.  The trick here is to wind it around enough that you can pull the long end and it won’t slip off your finger.  Now grasp the long end, wrap it once or twice around your other index finger leaving about 1-2 inches of floss between both fingers and you are ready to go..  

Roanoke Medicaid DentistSimply open your mouth, place one finger against the 1-2 inch piece of floss and push between two teeth.  When just starting out, use any teeth that you’re comfortable reaching.  Now once the floss is between your teeth, pull it against one tooth and move it up and down between the teeth then do the other tooth surface.  

Finally pull the dental floss out from between those two teeth. You might feel a little tug and a snap as the floss frees itself from between the two teeth.  Next, wrap another two inches of floss around your index finger, grab the long end again with another inch or two of clean dental floss and you’re ready for the next two teeth.  Repeat until you clean between all of them.  Flossing leaves your mouth feeling clean and fresh without the need to artificial breath fresheners.

If done right with healthy teeth and gums, flossing will not by itself cause your mouth or gums to bleed.  Bleeding can happen however if you accidentally push the floss into your gums to hard.  Not to worry though, a quick rinse with cold water will usually take care of everything.  

If you need more information on flossing, are experiencing tooth pain or have general questions about oral health and hygiene, please contact our office at (540) 685-0028.  Commonwealth Dental Clinic specializes in Medicaid and Self-Pay Dental Patients and is conveniently located near downtown Roanoke.  You can also reach us on the web at