College Park Dental
7305 Baltimore Ave, Suite 204, College Park, MD 20740

How Important Is Flossing?

In one word…very! Flossing not only cleans areas of the teeth where ordinary toothbrushes can’t reach, it is a key factor in preventing gum disease. Brushing is an excellent beginning, but flossing is a crucial factor when it comes to keeping healthy teeth. The bacterium that gets caught in the nooks and crannies between teeth and in the tight spaces that toothbrushes can’t reach is removed by flossing.

Bacteria, if not removed regularly, may cause a host of problems in a person’s mouth. For instance, a byproduct of the bacteria is acid; this acid eats into the enamel of otherwise teeth and creates cavities. Another byproduct of the bacteria is a sulfur compound which causes halitosis

Remnants of food, combined with remaining bacteria turns into plaque. Plaque, left hanging around between the teeth will become a stronger more toothbrush resistant substance called tarter. Tarter is not removed by normal brushing. Tarter remover requires the professional services of a dentist.

Tarter left alone allows the bacteria to breed and cause a more serous condition called gingivitis. Gingivitis occurs when the bacteria emits toxins that irritate the gums and causes redness and swelling. Left alone, it worsens and causes periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease occurs when the bacteria have been allowed to manifest and invade not only the gums, but also the bones. This is dangerous because the bones are the very support structure that holds teeth in place. Left untreated, teeth will fall out.

I Haven’t Flossed In A While. What Should I Expect?

If you haven’t flossed in quite a while, there is a possibility that you may see a hint of blood on the floss and in your mouth. This means that your gums are somewhat irritated and are really in need of flossing. Don’t give up. Keep flossing. Over a period of time, with regular flossing and brushing, the red should diminish and eventually go away. If it does not, pay a visit to your dentist.

How Often Should I floss?

According to the American Dental Association, you should brush twice a day

with a fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once a day.

What About My Children? When Should They Start Flossing?

The minute two teeth are able to rub together, thus creating a condition whereby food and bacteria can hide and grow, start flossing. Of course when they are young, they will require parental guidance. Continue to do so until you feel comfortable that your child can properly floss unaided.

How Do I Floss?

1.) Use about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around the middle finger of one hand and the rest around the middle finger of the other hand.

2.) Gently guide the floss between your teeth with a rubbing motion.

3.) Once the floss nears your gum line curve the floss against one tooth in a ‘C’ shape. Slide it gently in the space between you tooth and gum.

4.) While keeping the floss against the tooth, gently, with an up and down motion, move the floss away from the gum.

5.) Repeat as needed.

6.) Remember to floss between all of your teeth, even the hard to reach ones in the back of your mouth. Also floss the back of the last teeth.

7.) Remember this is a gentle motion. Do not use a frontward, backward sawing motion. That can cause injury and prove to be painful.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Quick, painless and courteous professional service. The ladies are fantastic.
Robert M.
So painless that I fell asleep during a root canal.
Terrell C.
The office is very clean, everyone was friendly and very helpful from check in to check out. Dental procedures are sometimes frightening and the […]
Ashley W.
Most friendly staff, and felt comfortable from the moment I arrived until the procedure was over. They got me in the same day I called. Very […]
Jesse M.
I have only had my initial visit, but if the rest of my visits are anything like the first one, this will be the first dentist office I have truly […]
Connie B.
Great service, quick and 'easy' fix for my urgent need.
Anonymous
Patient with my never-ending questions. Kept me comfortable during a gum surgery. Gave me options as to how to proceed.
Brigid S.
The procedure went very smoothly with no pain at all!
Maxine H.
This office works well as a team. The receptionists, office staff, and dental team are great.
Joseph D.
Excellent customer service and professionalism. Worked with me when I was in awful pain to try and find a solution. They were patient and you could […]
Christopher S.
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We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

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Office Hours
  • Monday 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Friday 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Saturday 7:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Sunday Closed
Get in touch:
  • Phone: (301) 238-7083
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