How to Floss Correctly

How to Floss Correctly

Your whole life you’ve been told that dental hygiene is important. By now, you’re probably excellent at brushing your teeth, but have always questioned whether or not you were flossing properly. Sometimes it can be hard to motivate yourself for flossing, but that simple string can get places that your trusty toothbrush can’t. Of course, that’s only as long as you floss correctly.

Prepare the Floss

Take about an 18 inch string of floss and wind each end around your middle fingers and then pinch the floss between your thumbs and index fingers. There should be about one or two inches of length in between.

Floss Position

Always keep one or two inches of floss taut between your fingers. Use your thumb to guide the floss for your upper teeth and your index finger to guide the floss for your lower teeth.

How to Floss

Glide the floss between your teeth using a zigzag motion. Be sure to be gentle and somewhat slow. Don’t hurriedly shove your floss between your teeth. While flossing, form a ‘C’ shape by angling the floss to hug the side of one tooth. Don’t forget to angle the floss the opposite way to get that other tooth.

Where to Floss

Floss up and down against the tooth surface and a dip under the gum line. Be sure to floss each tooth thoroughly with a clean section of floss on the same string. Even those molars in the back need flossing. After flossing, rinse with mouthwash or water.

Any kind of floss will be effective if you floss properly. Just be sure to floss every tooth along the sides and the gum line. Brushing can only do so much, but flossing will help your teeth be the cleanest they can be. Even teeth with broader spaces between them need flossing.

Braces or Other Dental Work

If you have braces, a permanent retainer or some other dental work that can get in the way of normal flossing, there is special orthodontic floss that’s stiffer and can be threaded under wires. There’s also the option of floss threaders, which look like plastic, bendable needles. You can simply thread the floss through the loop and easily push the threader and floss under wires.