Brushing and flossing every day is an essential part of proper oral hygiene. However, many people are unsure how to floss correctly. Flossing cleans between your teeth and helps clear away plaque and bacteria. Flossing is especially important for preventing periodontal (gum) disease and preserving the appropriate depth and elasticity of your gum pockets.
6 Tips for How to Floss Properly
Though brushing eliminates plaque and bacteria fairly well, toothbrush bristles can’t reach the interdental regions as flossing can.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Cut floss around 18 inches long or long enough so you can easily maneuver it around your teeth.
- Hold the floss by wrapping a bit around one finger on each hand so you can clean comfortably between your teeth.
- Gently work the floss between each tooth toward the gum line. Curve the floss in a c-shape around each tooth and slide beneath the gumline.
- Carefully move the floss up and down to remove plaque and debris.
- Unroll a clean piece of floss as you move to different teeth, preventing the spread of bacteria.
- Avoid vigorously flossing or popping the floss between your teeth, which can inflame or damage the gums.
We recommend flossing before brushing your teeth at night since flossing loosens up interdental plaque and food particles.
The Benefits of Flossing Regularly
Flossing is a great way to maintain healthy gums and overall oral health, and there are several benefits of flossing every night. Regularly flossing prevents plaque buildup, thus reducing the risk of cavities and gum inflammation and disease. According to the American Heart Association, practicing excellent oral hygiene, including flossing, can also decrease your risk of developing a heart condition or stroke. Finally, flossing can make your mouth feel clean and fresh, leaving you a much healthier and radiant smile.
Types of Dental Floss
You may be wondering, “Is there more than one kind of dental floss?” And the answer is yes! Depending on your unique needs, comfort level, and oral health, there are some different flosses from which you can choose:
- Waxed string floss
- Unwaxed string floss
- Interdental brush
- Dental tape
- Disposable flossers
For instance, someone with braces cannot efficiently use string dental floss because it can get tangled in the brackets or wires. However, an interdental brush is very effective for cleaning between braces or dental bridges.
Not sure what type of floss to use? Your dentist can help you determine which type of floss works best for you!
Schedule Your Next Dental Exam and Cleaning in Mitchell, SD
Contact us today at Dental Health Partners to schedule your routine exam and cleaning with Dr. Cody Gronsten and our team. We can also teach you the most effective techniques for brushing and flossing so your smile stays healthy and beautiful.