Of all the things you can do to maintain a healthy mouth, ﬂossing has got to be the least expensive! But many patients don’t take the time to ﬂoss. And if you do, you might not be doing it correctly! Welcome to Flossing 101…
Why should you ﬂoss?
Your toothbrush isn’t enough to brush away the plaque that can build up between teeth and at the gumline. A complete dental routine includes both brushing and ﬂossing.
How often should you ﬂoss?
Once a day is ideal. Believe it or not, ﬂossing more often (or with more rigor) can damage your gums. The only exception to once-a-day ﬂossing is if you need to remove pieces of stringy or sticky foods that get stuck after eating. Don’t leave those in there too long.
Should you ﬂoss before or after brushing?
Either one is ﬁne!
How should you ﬂoss?
Pull out about 18 inches of ﬂoss (any brand is ﬁne). Wind the ﬂoss tightly around your index or middle ﬁngers on both hands so that the ﬂoss between your hands is taut. Slide the ﬂoss between each set of teeth that touch, as well as where your last molar meets your gums. Slide the ﬂoss up and down the teeth, following the natural curve of each tooth in a “C” shape. Imagine the ﬂoss giving each tooth a little hug! Floss between teeth and where your teeth meet your gums. Use a new clean section of ﬂoss for each set of teeth.
For a helpful infographic, use this one from the American Dental Association. You can also ask your hygienist to show you how to ﬂoss at your next visit.
If arthritis in your hands or another condition prevents you from ﬂossing adequately, consider a dental pick, oral irrigator, or electric ﬂosser. Give us a call or ask about options at your next visit! We will help ﬁnd a solution for you!