Have you ever wondered if you're flossing your teeth the right way? It's common when flossing to bleed or get floss stuck, and when these issues arise, you might question if you know what you're doing. Do not worry. Let's take a refresher course in flossing 101 and discuss how to floss your teeth the right way.
What is the proper flossing technique?
Wrap the floss around your middle fingers, so you can use your pointer fingers to maneuver the floss.
After the floss passes through the contact between two teeth, push the floss up against one of the teeth and rub it up and down against the tooth, and, don’t forget to go below the gums. During this movement, the floss should wrap around the tooth in the shape of a “C” to be sure you’re cleaning around the entire side of the tooth.
Before removing the floss from this contact, do the exact same movement as described in step #2 to the other tooth.
Remove floss from this tooth contact and repeat steps #2 and #3 between all teeth.
Don’t forget to floss behind the back of the last molar. Even though there is no contact with another tooth, this area still needs to be flossed. Lasso this area and perform step #2
Why is flossing important?
It cleans the areas that your toothbrush doesn’t reach.
It removes food debris and bacteria that can cause cavities, periodontal disease (bone loss), and bad breath.
It can make your professional dental cleanings with the hygienist more comfortable because your gums won’t be inflamed and sore.
How often should you floss?
Everybody should floss at least once a day: at night before you go to sleep. This prevents food and bacteria from accumulating between your teeth and causing cavities, boneless, and bad breath (for 7-8 hours EVERY night!)
If you are cavity-prone, periodontal disease-prone, or get a lot of food stuck between your teeth, you should floss more than once per day. You should probably floss after every time you eat.
If I use mouthwash, a Waterparks, or water flosser, do I still need to floss?
YES!!! All above are good additions to flossing, but, they DO NOT replace flossing!