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May 20, 2019

Experts' Expert: How to be a better flosser

FlossCartoon LCarroll

Heidi Mitchell of the Wall Street Journal interviewed Dr. Denis F. Kinane, professor of pathology and periodontics at the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Dental Medicine, about the fine points of flossing, summarized below.

1. Brush before flossing — but if you can only do one or the other, brushing is a better use of your time.

2. If you floss only once a day, you'll get more benefit in terms of decay prevention by doing so before bed. 

3. The biggest mistake people make when flossing is sawing back and forth — floss motion should be down and up.

4. Move the floss so as to use a fresh segment for each tooth — this avoids reintroducing plaque from already flossed teeth.

5. Waxed or unwaxed doesn't matter in terms of efficacy.

6. Ribbon and string both work — ribbon reaches more of the tooth surface.

7. Rinsing, even with mouthwash, simply can't reach areas between teeth and under the gum line like floss.

May 20, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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