If you’ve been to the dentist (and we certainly hope you have) you know you are going to get asked, “Have you been flossing regularly”. Hopefully that answer is yes but then the next question should be, “Are you flossing properly”.
We all get the basic concept, you break off a piece of floss and put it between your teeth to get anything out that shouldn’t be in there. Flossing is a very important step in your dental routine so let’s break it down for you just to make sure you’re doing it right.
The first thing to remember is that you should be flossing daily. So let’s call that step 1.
The next step is to get the floss out of the container and prep it. Remove a little less than 2 feet of floss (this can be whatever type of floss you prefer but if you would like us to recommend a specific one ask at your next appointment). Once the floss is removed wind it around a finger (the pointer fingers work great) on each hand to create a line in the middle that has enough tension to easily go between your teeth.
Step 3, hold the floss comfortable, typically between your thumbs and forefingers.
Next you want to use a gentle motion to get the floss between your teeth. There is no reason for this to be painful or cumbersome, gentle motions will do the trick.
Here is the step people tend to do incorrectly. When you get near your gums curve the floss into a “C” shape against one tooth and slide it between your gum and tooth (remember to do this gently, just like the last step).
From here you simply make sure the floss is tight against your tooth and rub the sides of your teeth one by one in an up-and-down motion. And don’t forget, do it gently! Repeat this for all of your teeth and don’t forget the back of those last teeth.
When you have completed all the steps throw away your floss, do not re-use it as it is now likely covered in bacteria.
If you are not a fan of the standard floss method there are alternative options such as flossers with handles and dental picks (the soft ones are great for massaging your gums to help prevent gingivitis).
Not sure if you’re flossing properly or what the best tool is for you to use? Ask us at your next appointment and we’ll give you advice.
The information on this Blog is provided for general information, is not intended to provide medical, dental or surgical advice, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. No dentist/patient relationship is established by your use of this Site. No diagnosis or treatment is being provided. The information contained here should be used in consultation with a dentist of your choice. No guarantees or warranties are made regarding any of the information contained within this Blog.