How to Floss Properly: Step-by-Step Guide to Flossing Teeth
Flossing your teeth every day is one of the most important things you can do to maintain good oral health. Flossing helps remove plaque and leftover food particles from between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. This helps to prevent cavities and periodontal disease. Flossing can also help prevent bad breath by removing food particles trapped between your teeth. Flossing your teeth only takes a few minutes and should be done at least once a day.
If you struggle to floss properly, your dentist or hygienist can show you how to floss your teeth correctly and recommend a flossing aid, such as floss picks. Flossing is an essential part of keeping your teeth clean and healthy. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to floss your teeth properly.
What is Dental Floss?
The process of flossing your teeth is called “flossing.” It involves wrapping a piece of string-like material between your fingers and gently pushing this floss between your teeth, removing food residue and plaque. However, not all dental floss is created the same! It’s important to choose floss that is designed to be gentle on your gums while being tough enough to clean between teeth.
Here are a few things to look for in dental floss:
Choose waxed floss to prevent shredding as you floss.
- Choose a thin floss that you can comfortably slide between teeth. Thicker flosses can shred and leave debris on your teeth. Also, consider using interdental brushes for cleaning around braces or dental implants.
- While flavored types of floss are okay to use, avoid getting mint-flavored floss because they can irritate your gums.
- If you have sensitive gums, look for a brand of dental floss that is specially formulated for sensitive teeth and gums. These are often made with natural ingredients like aloe vera gel instead of chemicals. Talk to your dentist about which products are best for you.
- Some dental flosses are designed to effectively remove particles from tight spaces between teeth. Look for a brand that is designed to reach deep pockets along your gumline.
The first step is to use about 18 inches of floss. Wrap the ends around your middle fingers and use your thumbs and forefingers to gently guide the floss in between your teeth, forming a “C” shape around each tooth. Gently work the floss up and down several times to clean off plaque from the crevices of your teeth. Repeat this process for each tooth and angle of the arch.
Once you’ve finished flossing, rinse with mouthwash to remove any remaining debris or loose particles from your mouth. Rinsing is an important step because it makes your mouth feel fresh and clean. It also ensures that you’re less likely to miss any areas of your mouth when brushing because you’ve already rinsed out the remaining food particles before spitting them out.
To learn more about brushing in children, schedule an appointment with one of our dentists and team by calling us at (650) 322-9837.