Flossing Instructions


  1. Always use the thinnest grade of waxed floss that you can. Whatever makes it easier for you to floss will encourage you to floss.
  2. Use a gentle sawing motion to ease the floss past the contact point between two teeth. Try to avoid snapping the floss through which may injure your gums.
  3. After clearing the contact point, lightly wrap the floss around each tooth and clean underneath your gums with a gentle side to side motion.
  4. When finished, you may either pull the floss back out through the contact point or draw it out sideways. Neither method will hurt your gums, but drawing the floss out the side can prevent dislodgment of older fillings that can some times occur when the floss is pulled out through the contact point.
  5. Never use the same piece of floss to clean between all your teeth more than once.
  6. It is only necessary to brush and floss once daily. The time to do it is just before going to sleep. Salivary flow is decreased while sleeping due to mouth breathing and for other reasons. This is why your mouth tastes like an old shoe when you wake up. Saliva (spit) protects your teeth and gums by keeping the bacteria that cause dental disease in check. Everyone with teeth in their head has bacteria in their mouths. If food particles remain under your gums and around your teeth while you are sleeping, these bacteria use it for food just as you did. The waste product they produce is acid and that causes tooth decay and gum disease .
  7. If you ever have any further questions about flossing, brushing or any alternatives for your home care, please ask us.

Floss every night before retiring for the evening.

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Dr. Barry F. McArdle, D.M.D. ~ 118 Maplewood Avenue, The Captain Moses House, Suite B-7, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Questions or Request an Appointment: Contact Us     Phone: 603-430-1010     Email: drmcardle@mcardledmd.com     Website: http://mcardledmd.com