How to Floss the Right Way

This is a transcipt from a periodontist about how to floss your teeth:

Hi, I’m Dr. Joe Namath, I’m a periodontist in Southfield Michigan.  So there was a patient just yesterday, and we take a microscope slide on almost all of our patients.

So when we took the slide, this is what we saw. Well initially, we see plaque a plaque is not necessarily harmful in itself. What we’re looking for is moving bacteria.

We’re looking for parasites and bacteria that are related to gum disease. Now, this is a parasite it’s an amoeba. And if you watch it closely you see how that’s coming out, that’s called the pseudopod and that’s how these amoebas move. What they do is they extend these pseudopods and then they could use those to embrace and evocative our other cells like white blood cells and that’s what they live off.

Studies have shown that when you have these parasites not only do you have gum disease but you have a hugely increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease stroke all cardiovascular diseases diabetes for sure.

Now certain cancers like pancreatic cancer particularly for men lung cancer. So in the treatment, we want to make sure that we eliminate these parasites and bacteria entirely. When a patient’s finished, I want to take a slide and see nothing moving around on there, no bleeding no activity.

One of the things that we can do that you can do to treat periodontal disease is maybe very early stages and help prevent it is a simple use of dental floss.

Periodontal disease usually starts between the teeth where bacteria and food particles Lodge and aren’t or can’t be removed entirely with the toothbrush. The brush does an excellent job of brushing the outer surfaces or the inner surfaces but not so good between the teeth.

So let me give you a little lesson in how to use dental floss here. When you use dental floss well I’m going to use a little yarn. Let’s pretend this yarn as the dental floss so first of all, you don’t want to use a long piece of floss you want to use a short bit.

Because you can control it the much better short piece between thumb and index finger or two thumbs typically and you take that floss, and you put it carefully between the teeth kind of like that and you work it down between them teeth don’t snap it down. Just great this tooth is a loose tooth by the way you can see it moving.

You move it along the side of the tooth and you kind of polish the bottom of the tooth up and down like that when you wrap it around the tooth adjacent to it, and you polish that. Up and down go five or six times up and down the side of each tooth and go to the next area.

And do the same thing, and by the way, when you are flossing that gum tissue between the teeth is called a papilla well, you don’t want to irritate the papilla. Go up and down the side of one tooth and bring it up over the papilla to the other tooth. So you’re not rubbing it across that tender tissue between the teeth and irritating it and then move the floss along.

So you’re not using the same contaminated worn piece of floss in each area The cloth is a narrowest of all of the materials that we use tape a little bit thicker and works well.

Now in some areas where the teeth are kind of far apart you can use yarn. You want to use something that will fill that space and clean it out thoroughly, but generally dental floss or dental the tape will do the job. So you’ve got the small piece that you can control and then with that control piece five or six times down to the gum line and slightly under the gum line. But don’t snap it don’t push it down any further than it’ll go comfortably to clean the plaque and the bacteria and the material out from around between and the sides of those teeth.

So cleaning between the teeth are important.

Dental floss even yarn are some of the things that you can use, but that’s a critical area to clean. So remember healthy mouth healthy body stay well restore your smile and your health.

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