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If you are taking the time to brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, congratulations! Brushing is an important part of a sound oral hygiene regimen, but it is not the only part. If you are brushing but not flossing, you are missing out on a key component of your dental health. If your dental floss is looking a little neglected, you need to dust it off and put it to work.

To start, you will need to use about 18 inches of floss. Wrap most of it around each of your middle fingers and hold one to two inches between your thumbs and forefingers. Start at your back teeth and work  your way to the front of your mouth. Curve the floss around your teeth, and start below, and then floss away from your gumline. You should use a fresh piece of floss for each tooth, and never reuse your dental floss.

There are essentially two types of floss nylon and monofilament. You can purchase both in waxed and unwaxed varieties. Monofilament floss is less prone to shredding and may work better for people who wear braces or bridges. You can floss before or after your brush, so long as you do an effective job of both. If you have trouble holding or using regular floss, or if you have issues with flossing around your dental work, you should ask your dentist about using a floss threader or a water-flosser.

If you have questions or concerns about your oral healthcare routine, or if it is just time for your regular cleaning and exam, our dentist, Dr. Joshua Scott Murdock will be happy to meet with you! If you live in the Grants Pass, Oregon, area, you can call 541-479-5505 to schedule an appointment at Rogue Valley Family Dentistry.