Proper Flossing Tips and Techniques You Should Know About

Flossing is an important part of dental care. Dentists recommend that flossing be done at least once a day to help you remove the plaque found in between your teeth. Dental floss is used to remove stuff stuck in-between your teeth like plaque and food particles from your last meal. It also helps prevent gum disease and cavities. Because some of us find it hard to floss, they just stick to brushing teeth, which does not entirely clean the mouth. However, your toothbrush is not powerful enough (nor has the capability) to remove the plaque stuck between your teeth.

Ways to Floss More Effectively

The following are some tips on how to do flossing properly:

  • Use around 18 inches of floss. Wrap most of it around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with.
  • Holding the floss between your thumbs and index fingers and in up-and-down direction, slide the floss between your teeth.
  • In a gentle manner, curve the floss around the base of each tooth (near the gum line). Be sure that you floss beneath your gum line. Be careful not to snap or stretch the floss too much. This might just cut or bruise delicate tissues in the gum area.
  • Repeat with the other tooth and then do the same thing with the rest of your teeth.
  • As you proceed with the rest of your teeth, use the remaining section of the floss that are clean and without particles.
  • In order to remove the floss, you can use the similar motion of back-and-forth to bring the floss up and away from the teeth.
  • Don’t forget the back of your last molars since most gum disease and most decay occurs in the back teeth.

In addition to these tips, here are other techniques that should be considered to have healthier teeth while flossing.

  • Rinse your mouth – after floss, you should rinse your mouth thoroughly to remove the remaining food particles in the mouth.
  • Tight teeth – if your teeth seem too tight to floss, ask your dentist about it.
  • Bleeding gums – in the start, your gums may bleed a little when getting rid of any plaque build-up. Keep on flossing your teeth even though there might seem some blood. It will eventually become healthier and the bleeding should stop by then. If it keeps on bleeding, however, you should make an appointment with your dentist.
  • Flossing when you’re pregnant – pregnancy should not stop you from brushing and flossing your teeth. Pregnant women can have several dental issues ranging from gum disease to enamel wear. Pregnant women should maintain their flossing routines.
  • Time for flossing – studies show different results as to when you should floss. You could floss either before or after brushing your teeth so long as you do it once a day.
  • Floss shred – floss can shred if you encounter an old filling or on the edge of a tooth that has become hard to remove. You could also try another type of floss or dental tape. If there is still shredding in your floss, you could ask your dentist for advice to proper flossing.

Happy flossing!

Written by Dr. Darren Wittenberger, is the best orthodontist for braces Columbia MO has to offer, and owner of his own practice, Advance Orthodontics. Dr. Wittenberger enjoys sharing his expertise to ensure people can maintain the healthiest, straightest teeth possible!