Flossing may be a new part of you daily hygiene regimen. It's important to maintaining strong, healthy teeth and gums.

The main cause of gum disease is plaque, the sticky, colorless film that's constantly forming on your teeth. The bacteria in plaque produce toxins that irritate and begin to destroy supporting gum tissue. Flossing removes the small bits of food between teeth that brushing misses, and more importantly, disrupts and removes accumulating plaque and bacteria. Flossing also stimulates the gums, keeping them pink, resilient and healthy.

What kind of floss? You can use waxed, unwaxed, mint-flavored or whatever appeals to you. Gentle Dentistry of Las Colinas uses Glide floss because it doesn't shred apart easily.

How to floss? Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind it around your two middle fingers. Pull the floss taut and insert the string between the teeth with a gentle sawing motion. Bring the floss up and down the sides of both teeth five or six times, lightly touching the gum and sliding just under the gum. After flossing both teeth, slide the string out, again with an easy sawing movement. Don't forget the far sides of your back teeth. When the floss becomes frayed or soiled, wind a new section around. After flossing, rinse vigorously with water, then brush.

If you have any questions about flossing, or want us to check your technique, just ask.