Breaking Down Flossing: a 3 Part Series
By Mina Levi, DDS, 04/23/2015

In the dental office of Mina Levi, DDS, we highly recommend brushing twice per day and flossing at least once per day. We recommend a variety of products, including Listerine’s woven or “Gum Care” floss and the Waterpik water flosser. It can be unclear to many people what exactly each type of flossing is and the pros and cons of all of them, so in this 3-series article, Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi, DDS breaks down three flossing options: traditional dental floss, the Waterpik water flosser, and the Phillip’s airfloss flosser.

Dental floss San Francisco

Week 1: Traditional Floss
What is it?
Dental floss is a thin cord that is used to remove food, plaque and bacteria from in between the teeth, where the bristles of a toothbrush cannot reach.

How do I use it?
Remove a good length of floss from floss holder. When flossing correctly, the floss needs to be pushed through the teeth and pressure put on one side (pressing against one of the teeth) and into the gums, then to the other side (pressing against the other tooth) and into the gums. It is very important when you are flossing to make sure that your floss reaches down below the gum line. There is plaque and bacteria that can accumulate in the periodontal pocket (space between the tooth and gum) and can lead to gingivitis and periodontitis if it is not removed.

1.  Inexpensive
2.  Effective in cleaning tight spaces between teeth
3.  Effective in removing plaque from teeth due to scraping up and down the sides of each tooth

1.  Can be irritating for people with sensitive gums
2.  Can’t be used by people who have braces without a threader
3.  Inconvenient to use, takes a “long” time to correctly clean between each tooth

Next week we will profile the Waterpik waterflosser. If you have questions about flossing or a water flosser, visit San Francisco Dentist Mina Levi, DDS on the web at or give us a call at (415) 513-5066.