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5 Flossing Tips From a Dentist

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Tooth sensitivity isn’t a rare complaint. In fact, many people experience tooth sensitivity — so if you’re dealing with it, you’re definitely not alone. There are many ways, however, to keep tooth sensitivity at bay. While brushing with a toothpaste like Sensodyne Rapid Relief twice daily provides proven pain relief in just three days, you can’t forget flossing!

Sienna Palmer, DDS at Meridien Dental, shared the scary side effects of skipping this crucial dental practice. “When patients are not flossing enough, they can experience bleeding and swollen, red, and sensitive gums,” she said. You can also see plaque, too — “Plaque is the yellow material that builds up along the gum line and between the teeth,” explains Dr. Palmer.

Did you know that plaque hardens if you leave it there? Dr. Palmer says plaque “must be removed every day by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, minimum — and it needs to be removed with a professional dental cleaning every three to six months.”

On top of redness, swelling, bleeding, and hardened plaque, you may experience tooth decay in between your teeth due to bacteria build-up when you skip flossing (which can cause tooth pain). thanks to bacteria buildup when you skip flossing. Dr. Palmer outlined exactly how to fight back against plaque with some easy daily flossing.

Dentist-Approved Flossing Tips

  • Keep it simple. Don’t over complicate your flossing routine! It’s simple and will fit right into your daily brushing schedule. Like Dr. Palmer said, just once a day is all you need.
  • Use traditional floss. “Traditional string floss [versus a floss pick] is the best way to floss your teeth and will result in clean and healthy teeth and gums,” Dr. Palmer says.
  • Use the “C-shape” method. “Wrap floss around middle fingers, and use your forefinger and thumb to have more control close to the tooth,” explains Dr. Palmer. “Make a C-shape to hug the side of the tooth, and move floss up and down five times, going slightly below the gums. Then make the C-shape around the adjacent tooth up and down to clean the side surface of that tooth before pulling the floss out and moving to the next tooth.”
  • Stay on top of your daily oral hygiene. Some people do not include flossing as part of their routine, but that’s a big no-no. “The best oral hygiene routine includes flossing, rinsing, and brushing for two minutes two times a day with a soft bristle — preferably electronic — toothbrush,” says Dr. Palmer.
  • See your dentist often. “Another important factor in overall oral health is dental cleanings every three to six months, depending on the health of your gums,” Dr. Palmer says. “The healthier you keep your gums with these hygiene tips, the less bleeding and sensitivity you will experience.”

While you’re working on reducing painful sensitivity with Dr. Palmer’s brushing, flossing and dental visit tips, opt for proven pain protection with Sensodyne — the number one dentist recommended toothpaste brand for sensitive teeth. The active ingredient (stannous fluoride) builds a layer over exposed dentin to quickly create a protective barrier over the sensitive areas of your teeth. This helps to keep those outside (painful!) triggers from reaching the nerves, providing clinically proven sensitivity relief in just three days with twice daily brushing.

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