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5 Tips for Better Flossing

Flossing is an extremely vital step in maintaining good oral health. Not only is it important to break out the floss every day, but it is also equally as important to use the right flossing techniques to achieve plaque removal. If you are struggling with flossing, check out the five flossing tips below to help guide you in the right direction.

Don’t Be Heavy Handed

Flossing Technique

When trying to get to those hard to reach places, some people fall into the habit of snapping the floss between their teeth. This is especially tempting for those whose teeth are very close together. Repeatedly snapping and cutting the floss deep into the gumline can cause the gums to recede over time. To preserve your gums, use a gentle hand and take your time when flossing. Even if it takes a bit of extra patience and persistence to cut through the plaque, your gums will thank you in the long run.

Don’t Skimp on the Floss

Dentists agree, around 46 centimetres of floss should be used every time you floss. That might seem like an awful lot of floss, but if you are flossing correctly you will need at least that much. To employ the proper flossing technique the floss should be wrapped around the fingers several times with an inch or two pulled tautly between the hands. The index fingers should be used to apply pressure to the floss as it moves between the teeth. Remember also to avoid using the same two-inch length of floss for your entire mouth.

Use a Zigzag Motion

The purpose of flossing is to clear the plaque buildup under the gumline and around the contours of the tooth. To get the most out of flossing use a sawing motion or a zigzag pattern and wrap the floss around either side of each tooth. Dragging the floss from side to side across the tooth will ensure the plaque is chipped away.

Floss Before Bed if You Can

While flossing at any point during the day is better than not flossing at all, if you can, try to floss before tucking in for the night. While you sleep your mouth dries out because you produce much less saliva than you would during the day. The decrease in saliva results in fewer bacteria transference throughout the mouth and your teeth remain cleaner for longer.

Follow a Pattern

It is easy to get distracted when doing a repetitive task like flossing. With practice, you may even be able to watch TV or do other activities while flossing. When your undivided attention is not focused on flossing, the risk of skipping over teeth or missing a section of your jaw entirely runs high. To ensure each and every tooth gets some attention, follow a pattern, like flossing from right to left and top to bottom, and stick to it every time you floss.


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Our governing College, Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) has advised dentists that they strongly recommend that all non-essential and elective dental services should be suspended immediately. Public safety is our number one concern. We need to put our patients’ interests and the safety of the community, first. Ontario has declared a state of emergency, and the Canadian government is strongly urging all Canadians to practice social distancing.

Dental hygiene services in a time of a "pandemic" are not considered emergency or essential services. Our College has advised that we postpone all appointments for Hygiene scaling/cleanings until further notice. We may however, be open for EMERGENCIES. We ask that you call one of our offices to schedule this, and to be pre-screened.

What is the definition of an essential service?

In dentistry, a “true emergency situation” includes oral-facial trauma, significant infection, prolonged bleeding or pain which cannot be managed by over-the-counter medications.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we are here for you and want to help. Please call our offices to speak with one of our representatives who will be able to screen and advise you accordingly.  CONSULTATIONS OVER THE PHONE will be available with the Doctor, if needed.

This strong recommendation to suspend non-essential services, is being followed in interest of the public, our patients and our Team. We all need to act in a socially responsible manner. The College will revisit this recommendation in the first week of April. We will continue to keep you up to date.

Stay safe, and healthy.

Drs. Jim Argyropoulos, Robert Polese, Ari Voudouris & Associates