We always recommend brushing and flossing as the most important daily habits for maintaining good oral hygiene. While most people know how to brush their teeth correctly, flossing is often overlooked or done improperly. Flossing helps remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth, which your toothbrush cannot reach. In this blog post, we will cover how to floss correctly to maintain good oral hygiene and prevent gum disease.
Why Flossing is Important
Flossing is essential because it removes the plaque and food particles that accumulate between your teeth and gums. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that builds up on your teeth and can lead to tooth decay and gum disease if not removed. Brushing alone cannot remove all the plaque from between your teeth. Flossing is essential to help prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
How to Floss Properly
Choose the Right Floss
There are many types of floss available on the market, including waxed, unwaxed, flavoured, and unflavored. You can use whichever type of floss you prefer as long as it is ADA-approved. Some people find waxed floss easier to use because it slides more easily between teeth. Others prefer unwaxed floss because it tends to be thinner and can fit into tight spaces.
Use Enough Floss
Cut off about 18 inches of floss and wind it around your middle fingers, leaving about 1-2 inches of floss to work with. Use a fresh section of floss for each tooth to avoid transferring bacteria from one tooth to another.
Hold the Floss Correctly
Hold the floss tightly between your thumb and forefinger and gently slide it between your teeth using a sawing motion. Be careful not to snap the floss between your teeth, which can damage your gums.
Curve the Floss Around Each Tooth
Curve the floss into a C-shape around each tooth and gently slide it up and down against the side of the tooth and under the gumline. Be sure to floss both sides of each tooth, including the back molars.
Use a Clean Section of Floss
After you finish flossing one tooth, use a clean section of floss to floss the next tooth. Use the same back-and-forth and up-and-down motion against the tooth as you did with the first piece of floss.
Rinse Your Mouth
Once you have finished flossing, rinse your mouth with water to remove any remaining food particles or plaque.
Tips for Proper Flossing Technique
- Floss at least once a day, preferably before bedtime.
- Be gentle when flossing. Use a back-and-forth and up-and-down motion, not a sawing motion.
- Use a fresh section of floss for each tooth to avoid transferring bacteria.
- Be sure to floss both sides of each tooth, including the back molars.
- Don’t forget to floss behind your back teeth. This is where most people forget to floss which can lead to cavities and gum disease.
- If you have trouble flossing, try using a floss holder or interdental brush to help you reach difficult areas.
Guide to Flossing: Advice and Resources
Flossing requires patience and concentration. Take your time to floss each tooth properly and make sure you remove all the food particles and plaque from between your teeth. Rushing through the process can cause you to miss areas and increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Use Proper Technique
Using the proper flossing technique is critical for removing the maximum amount of plaque and food particles. It is important to slide the floss gently between your teeth and curve it around each tooth to get as close to the gum line as possible. Using a back-and-forth and up-and-down motion helps remove the plaque effectively.
Don’t Neglect Your Back Teeth
Many people forget to floss their back teeth, especially the molars. Neglecting these teeth can cause cavities and gum disease, which can be painful and costly to treat. Be sure to floss all the way to the back of your mouth and clean all surfaces of your teeth.
Don’t Reuse Floss
Reusing floss is a common mistake that can lead to the spread of bacteria and increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Always use a fresh section of floss for each tooth to avoid transferring bacteria from one tooth to another.
Consider Using Floss Picks or Water Flossers
If traditional flossing is difficult or uncomfortable, consider using floss picks or water flossers. Floss picks are small, plastic tools that have a piece of floss threaded between two prongs. They are convenient and easy to use, especially for people with limited dexterity. Water flossers use a stream of water to clean between your teeth and can be an effective alternative to traditional flossing.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Regular dental checkups and cleanings are essential for maintaining good oral health. Your dentist can detect early signs of tooth decay and gum disease and provide appropriate treatment before they become more serious problems. Your dental hygienist can also provide personalized advice on flossing and recommend the best products for your unique needs.
Flossing is an essential part of maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing gum disease and tooth decay. By following the proper technique, you can effectively remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth and gums. Be sure to floss at least once a day, preferably before bedtime, and use a fresh section of floss for each tooth to avoid transferring bacteria. If you have trouble flossing, speak to your dentist or dental hygienist for advice on the best technique for your teeth and gums.
At Kitchener Dentist Lancaster Dental, we are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal oral health. Our experienced team of dentists and dental hygienists can provide personalized advice on proper flossing techniques and recommend the best products for your unique needs.
We offer a wide range of dental services, including general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and emergency dental care. Our state-of-the-art facility in Kitchener is equipped with the latest technology to ensure our patients receive the highest quality care.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us at 519-578-9670. Our friendly staff will happily assist you and help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.
DISCLAIMER: The advice offered is intended to be informational only and generic in nature. It is in no way offering a definitive diagnosis or specific treatment recommendations for your particular situation. Any advice offered is no substitute for proper evaluation and care by a qualified dentist.