I know that you guys probably get sick of hearing us dentists constantly go on and on about the importance of flossing, but it really is that important! As a matter of fact, if you were to have to choose between only flossing your teeth or only brushing, flossing alone would win! Not that we’re recommending that. Ideally, you want to rinse, floss and brush after every meal. But we’re realists and understand that can sometimes be difficult with our hectic schedules. So for whatever time we are willing and able to invest in flossing, we may as well do it right to maximize our efforts right? Let’s look into the steps of how to floss correctly.
How to Floss Correctly:
- Choosing your floss – We like to recommend using waxed floss versus un-waxed and a wider ribbon type floss versus a more thin string like floss (floss picks are good too)
- Wrap approximately 18 inches of this floss around your fingers
- Begin with your upper right teeth moving to your upper left. Then from your lower left to your lower right
- Flossing technique – Gently slide the floss in-between your teeth until you reach a resistance point at the gums (you want to get in-between the gums and each side of the tooth without forcing it). Simply continue this in the order mentioned in step 3 for each tooth and each side of each tooth.
- Don’t use the same area of floss for each tooth, continuously ensure that fresh floss is being used for every few teeth so you don’t just spread the bacteria, etc. from one tooth to the other
Check out this video for a good visual on how to floss properly:
*** If you don’t floss often, you’re gums may bleed the first 2-3 times you floss as you get into the habit. Soon enough after flossing consistently (every day) they should stop bleeding though.
We promise that if you start flossing consistently and correctly then not only will your smile be brighter and your breath better, but you’ll help to save yourself from some very expensive dental health issues in your future. So if you’re going to floss, invest the time in learning how to do it right! You’re smile and pocket book will thank you down the road.