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With January 1 comes a new year, and that means New Year’s Resolutions! Might we suggest one that won’t fall by the wayside by Valentine’s? We are speaking of course about taking better care of your smile!


We know that you already brush your teeth twice every day, for a full two minutes each session. Right? Easy. But, do you floss? Every day? Perhaps, and perhaps not. Here are some things to consider as you honestly evaluate the efficacy of your flossing habit.


First, know the purpose of flossing. It is to clean the areas of your mouth that brushing cannot reach, namely, in between teeth and behind the back molars. Mouthwash is not a substitute for flossing. Flossing physically removes plaque (a sticky film made of bacteria that forms on teeth), as well as food particles and other debris from in between the teeth. These areas, including behind the back molars, are fantastic breeding grounds for bacteria that cause cavities. Plaque and food particles are unsightly, and flossing helps remove them from your smile.


To floss properly, take an 18” piece of single-filament thread made specifically for cleaning between teeth. Using single-filament floss helps to prevent frayed floss, which can get caught between teeth. Wrap the floss between one finger of each hand, then use the thread between them to gently remove plaque and debris using a sawing, up-and-down motion. Use a clean section of thread for each tooth.


For more information, call Nils F. Sandstrom, DDS in Palos Heights, Illinois, at 708-388-2500. Dr. Nils Sandstrom and our team look forward to making your smile shine!