Brushing your teeth is easy enough to do but flossing seems to be one chore that many people prefer to put off. Maybe it’s because they don’t know how to do it properly. Flossing is one of the best things you can do to keep your teeth happy and healthy, so it’s important to make sure you’re doing it correctly.
The American Dental Association recommends flossing between your teeth once a day to help remove plaque. When you do this, you can also help prevent inflamed gums, cavities, gum disease, and even tooth loss. It’s easier to do once you have the confidence you’re doing it right, so here’s how to best floss!
Choose Your Tool
First, you’re going to need to choose your tool, or floss. There are plenty of options to choose from – waxed, unwaxed, dental tape, or a floss holder! There are pros and cons to each of them, and ultimately it comes down to personal preference. Try out a few different types and choose stock up on your favorite.
Take a piece that is about 18 inches long. Move your hands to the middle of the floss, leaving about two inches between your hands. Then, wrap the floss around your middle fingers on both hands.
Get To Work
Once you have your floss ready to go, hold it tightly between your thumbs and forefingers. (Your middle fingers will help take up the dirty floss and let out the clean floss as you need it.)
You should begin on the upper right side of your mouth, and move all the way around to your upper left.
Then, work from your lower left to the lower right.
Begin by gently guide the floss between your teeth. You should use a gentle rubbing motion to help remove plaque. As the floss reaches your gum line, follow the “C” shape of your tooth with the floss as you clean between the gum and the tooth.
Continue this method with each tooth until you reach the back of your mouth on the top and bottom. Don’t forget to clean the backside of your last tooth! You can do this by holding your floss tightly against the tooth and gently rubbing the side with your floss.
After you’ve cleaned between each tooth, throw your floss away. Remember that flossing is recommended after reach meal, but at the very least it should be done once a day, preferably at night. Flossing shouldn’t be painful or difficult. If it is, you should talk with a dentist.
Even the best of us fail to floss well or consistently. When that happens, it is all too easy for a little cavity to take hold in your mouth. If that is the case, you need to take care of it as soon as possible to avoid further decay.
See a dentist you can trust with any of your oral health needs – the Crawford Leishman Dental Group.