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You may have seen an article sometime in the last few years about flossing and how it is supposedly not backed by scientific evidence. You may even have wondered why our dentist keeps insisting that you floss every day. The reason is that those articles have seriously misrepresented and misunderstood the studies they refer to. They prefer using sensationalist headlines instead of really understanding what the studies say.

One of the studies was particularly insightful if you read into it. Two groups were studied over time, one where the participants flossed their teeth every day, and the other where their teeth were flossed for them by a professional. Those with the professional flossing had many fewer cavities than the other group. The point here isn’t that flossing your teeth doesn’t work. It’s that you must do it with good technique.

The most common flossing techniques that people use aren’t all that effective. They snap a tight piece of floss between two teeth and jerk it up and down, digging into the gums and not getting the curves of the tooth. That isn’t going to work well and is probably the reason for the results of the studies. Try this technique instead.

In general, flossing technique is sloppy and ineffective. A taught length of floss is snapped between a pair of teeth, pulled down and up, irritating the gums and barely scraping the teeth. This technique doesn’t do you any good. You need to use the floss with more care to get the benefit from flossing your teeth. Here’s what you do instead.

For more information about proper hygiene techniques or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Joan M. Jupina, feel free to contact Jupina Dental in Hayward, California, today!