Woodland, CA Family Orthodontist
Hours: M-F 8:00a - 5:00p

To Keep Your Teeth and Gums Healthy Here’s How Often You Really Need to Floss – and Why

Hi Dr. Portalupi here and I have some important information about brushing and flossing. It’s really important with your braces – or even if you don’t have braces – that you keep your teeth really clean. The best way to do that is first by brushing your teeth really well with a gentle toothbrush and making sure you get all the ins and outs and all the angles around the teeth. The teeth that are really missed the most, or the upper molars way in the back because your cheek comes up over boulders and it’s hard to get your teeth brushed back.

The other thing – and a lot of people can get a little lax about this – is that you’ve got to floss your teeth with dental floss. Why do you have to floss? Because your toothbrush can only reach about two thirds of the surface of your teeth. It can’t get in between your teeth where plaque can collect.

Did you know that plaque collects every 24 hours? So once a day, you’ve got to get in there and loosen up that plaque and rinse it out with some Scope or Listerine to get all of that plaque out of there. So you take the dental floss and you just hold it on both sides and you go in between the contact, wrapping around the surface of the tooth, going up and down a couple of times and then do the other tooth that’s next to it. Why? Because if you let that plaque collect on your teeth, it starts to break down the gums in the bone.

I’m going to show you something a little scary, so hold on to your chair. This is a patient here who has not been dental flossing, and has allowed this tartar, this plaque, to harden in between the teeth. Now we can see that everything is red and inflamed and bleeds easily. The bone is also starting to pull away from the tooth. This patient is close to losing this tooth. Over here, now the bone has receded all the way down. This patient here is going to lose his teeth, and that’s really unfortunate.

So starting today, start brushing and flossing between all of your teeth daily to keep them healthy. Good deal.


Portalupi Orthodontics proudly serves the Woodland, CA community and surrounding areas with a focus on delivering exceptional results and an amazing patient experience. In addition to Invisalign for teens and adults, Dr. Portalupi also offers a range of braces treatment options. To schedule your complimentary consultation, please call us at (530) 662-9191 or go online. We offer virtual and in-office appointments.