The Ultimate Guide to Flossing

We all know that flossing is important for oral hygiene…

Because it cleans and dislodges food stuck between your teeth, which reduces bacteria and plaque in your mouth. Plaque may harden into tartar, or it may cause cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. Inflammation in your mouth can lead to other health problems, so it’s a good idea to stay on top of plaque with good dental habits and regular trips to the dentist.

It’s good to know how to do such an important part of your oral hygiene routine. So we have the ultimate flossing guide for your convenience! While everyone is aware of how important it is to floss their teeth daily, few know the right way to do it. The correct technique is vital to maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

Our ultimate step by step guide:

1) Break off about 18 to 24 inches of dental floss. To hold the floss correctly, wind most of the floss around both of your middle fingers. Leave only about 1 to 2 inches of floss for your teeth.

2) Hold the floss taut with your thumbs and index fingers.

3) Place the dental floss in between two teeth. Gently glide the floss up and down, rubbing it against both sides of each tooth. Don’t glide the floss into your gums. This can scratch or bruise your gums.

4) As the floss reaches your gums, curve the floss at the base of the tooth to form a C shape. This allows the floss to enter the space between your gums and your tooth.

5) Repeat the steps as you move from tooth to tooth. With each tooth, use a new, clean section of floss.

6) Throw away the used floss; you don’t want to invite any bacteria into your mouth!

7) Floss daily; preferably before you go to bed at night.

If you are unable to use traditional floss…

For various reasons, there are other options available, such as flossing picks or a water flosser.

  • Another option is to use disposable floss picks. They’re easy to maneuver and can help you floss hard-to-reach teeth in the back of your mouth.
  • An electric flosser or a water flosser, which uses water and pressure to remove plaque and food from in between teeth. Both are great options if you have trouble using regular floss. A water flosser is also useful if you have braces. This device can clean in between brackets and wires.

When Should I Floss?

Knowing the right time to floss also contributes to good oral health. Some people have a routine of brushing their teeth first and then flossing. However, it’s actually generally recommended to floss and then brush your teeth. If you brush first and floss afterward, food and plaque remains in your mouth until the next time you brush.

We recommend flossing at least once per day and brushing twice per day.

Don’t have a dentist, or want to talk to someone in regards to flossing techniques or questinos? Sign up for Dentist on Demand, and find your dentist now!