Flossing is an essential part of maintaining good oral hygiene. It helps to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth and along the gum line that brushing alone cannot reach. However, many people do not floss correctly, which can lead to ineffective cleaning and even damage to your teeth and gums. In this blog, we will discuss the right way to floss.
Step 1: Choose the Right Floss
There are various types of floss available in the market, such as waxed or unwaxed, flavored or unflavored, and tape or string. Select a floss that is comfortable for you to use and effectively removes plaque and debris. If you have difficulty flossing, you can try using floss holders or interdental brushes.
Step 2: Cut an Adequate Length of Floss
Cut around 18 inches of floss and wrap most of it around your middle fingers, leaving a few inches to work with.
Step 3: Use a Gentle Sawing Motion
Gently guide the floss between your teeth with a sawing motion, curving it into a “C” shape against one tooth. Be careful not to snap the floss into the gums, which can cause pain and bleeding.
Step 4: Clean Both Sides of the Teeth
Rub the floss up and down against the tooth and under the gum line, cleaning both sides of the teeth. Use a clean section of floss for each tooth to prevent spreading bacteria and debris.
Step 5: Be Thorough but Gentle
Make sure to floss all of your teeth, including the back molars, and take your time to be thorough but gentle. Don’t rush through the process as it can cause damage to your gums and teeth.
Step 6: Rinse and Discard
After flossing, rinse your mouth with water to remove any remaining debris. Then, discard the used floss in the trash.
Tips for Effective Flossing
- Floss at least once a day, preferably before brushing your teeth at night.
- If you have braces or other dental appliances, use a floss threader to get between the wires and brackets.
- If you experience bleeding or discomfort when flossing, continue to floss gently but regularly. Your gums will toughen up over time, and bleeding should stop in a week or two.
- Consider using an antibacterial mouthwash to kill any remaining bacteria and freshen your breath.
Flossing is an important step in maintaining good oral health. By following the right technique, you can ensure that you are effectively removing plaque and debris from between your teeth and along the gum line. If you have any concerns about your flossing technique or dental health, consult with your dentist for professional advice.
How often should I floss?
It is recommended to floss at least once a day to remove plaque and food particles that your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing before brushing your teeth at night is a good habit to develop.
Can I reuse the same section of floss for multiple teeth?
No, it’s best to use a clean section of floss for each tooth to avoid spreading bacteria and debris. Using the same section of floss can be ineffective and even lead to more buildup between teeth.
Is it normal to experience bleeding while flossing?
Some bleeding may occur when you first start flossing or if you haven’t flossed in a while. However, if bleeding persists after a week or two of regular flossing or if you experience pain, you should consult your dentist.
Is it possible to floss too hard?
Yes, flossing too hard can cause damage to your gums and teeth. It’s essential to floss gently with a sawing motion and not snap the floss into your gums. If you have difficulty flossing, try using a floss holder or interdental brushes.