Oral Hygiene Basics: Don’t Forget to Floss

Oral Hygiene Basics: Don’t Forget to Floss from Smiles Dental Care in Mountain View, CABrushing and flossing teeth are critical oral hygiene basics that everyone should include in their care routines. Many people already know the proper procedures and benefits of brushing their teeth regularly, but flossing sometimes gets left out. In fact, according to U.S. News, only about 30% of the population in the United States flosses daily. Good oral hygiene helps prevent decay, diseases, and other systems issues within your body. To help maintain your overall wellbeing, including proper flossing in your oral care routine is essential.

Flossing basics

Flossing is the act of carefully moving a piece of dental floss up and down between each tooth to remove any food particles or plaque that can cause damage. Many dental associations and dental product companies recommend flossing at least one or more times a day to minimize buildup while stimulating healthy gums.

Why floss

Flossing removes any foreign particles stuck between teeth. Having food stuck between your teeth is more than just embarrassing; it can also damage your oral health. When food particles or other residue is left to sit along your gum line or between your teeth in hard-to-brush areas, it can form plaque. Plaque is a sticky deposit from the food and saliva mixture in your mouth. After a time, if not properly removed, plaque will develop into tartar or calculus, which can eventually cause gum disease or other complications.

When to floss

Once-a-day flossing is recommended. Many people prefer to floss before going to bed, so they do not sleep with any food particles or bacteria left to proliferate in their mouths overnight. Other people prefer to keep floss handy and privately floss after every meal or snack to ensure they maintain good oral hygiene basics. No matter the time, make sure to floss at least once a day, every day, to ensure a healthy routine.

How to floss

Flossing is often misunderstood and incorrectly executed. To floss correctly, begin by unraveling a piece of dental floss at least the length of your arm and follow these directions:

  • Wrap a length of one end of the floss around the index finger of your dominant hand.
  • Secure the tail end with the middle finger of the other hand.
  • Leave about three to four inches between your two fingers.
  • Gripping the floss, slide a strand between two teeth.
  • When you reach the gum line, move it gently up the side of the next tooth.
  • Slide the floss out and remove any residue.
  • Ravel the used floss to the tail end and unravel new clean floss.
  • Repeat the procedure between all teeth.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Oral Hygiene Basics in Mountain View, CA


Adding flossing to your regular care routine will help prevent both gingivitis and periodontitis, two preventable gum diseases that can have lasting consequences for your oral health. Good dental hygiene also helps maintain whole-body health. Building a practice that includes flossing before brushing as part of your oral hygiene basics ensures that you will likely never complete one without the other. Consult with your dentist for more tips on flossing.


Request an appointment or call Smiles Dental Care at 650-563-1180 for an appointment in our Mountain View office.

Recent Posts

3-questions-to-ask-Oral Hygiene Basics: What Drinks You Should Avoid

When it comes to oral hygiene basics, you probably think that changing the foods that you consume can strengthen your teeth. However, drinks actually have a large impact on your teeth because the traces of particles stay behind long after you have finished drinking. Here are the drinks that you should avoid to maintain a…

Oral Hygiene Basics: Choosing The Best Diet For Your Teeth

Healthy teeth are a vital part of being able to eat and enjoy food, but certain foods can be more harmful to dental health than others. Learning about foods that help and hurt the teeth is an important part of oral hygiene basics that can be helpful in guiding the choices people make when caring…

How Oral Hygiene Basics Can Maintain Your Smile

Your teeth play a major role in your life. They help you eat and talk, and they complete your smile. Practicing oral hygiene basics will keep your teeth healthy so that they can serve you well for a lifetime.One of the most important aspects of dental hygiene is regular brushing. Do it twice a day.…

Recent Posts

Popular Cosmetic Dental Services

Popular Cosmetic Dental Services

Cosmetic dental services are procedures people turn to when they want to improve the way their smile looks. Dentists can do various things to improve smile color, alignment, and proportions. This means those unhappy with their smile can do something about it. If you have considered cosmetic dentistry but want to know more, here is…

A General Dentist Shares Daily Tips To Prevent Bad Breath

A General Dentist Shares Daily Tips To Prevent Bad Breath

A general dentist shared some ways to help prevent bad breath. This is a topic no one wants to discuss. Bad breath happens to everyone at one point or another. If you take proper precautions, you can avoid having bad breath. We should openly talk about this taboo topic. The more we talk about it, the…