What Is the Right Way to Floss My Teeth?

You probably already know that flossing your teeth helps keep your smile healthy. What you might not stop to think about, however, is that the way you floss your teeth matters. If you’re using incorrect tools or techniques, your flossing won’t be nearly as successful.

Proper Flossing in Cornelius, NC

Flossing is a key component of preventive dentistry. Daily flossing keeps bacteria and food particles away from your teeth and gums to reduce your risk of developing cavities and periodontal disease.

To protect your teeth and make your flossing worthwhile, you need to follow a few basic guidelines:

  • Use enough floss: Most dentists recommend starting with around 18 inches. Make sure the strand of floss is clean and not frayed or breaking
  • Stick to traditional pieces of floss rather than floss picks: Floss is most effective when you manipulate it to reach around teeth and go under the gum line. Floss picks are not designed for these functions and are generally less effective than traditional floss
  • Hold your floss correctly: Once you cut your 18 inches of floss, you should wrap the ends around your two middle fingers until there are only a few inches between your hands. Then, use your thumbs and pointer fingers to guide two or three inches of taut floss between your teeth
  • Thoroughly clean between each tooth: It’s not enough to place your floss between your teeth and then pull it back out. For proper flossing technique, you should bend the floss into a “C” or “U” shape between each tooth and use the angles to clean the entire surface of your teeth. Move your floss up and down each tooth several times, making sure to gently reach below the surface of the gum line for any debris lingering there
  • Smoothly move your floss from tooth to tooth: Some of your teeth may be closer together than others, so you need to guide your floss throughout your mouth gently. Don’t rip or forcefully “pop” your piece of floss out from your teeth—instead, very carefully inch it up until the piece is free from your teeth

For the best preventative dentistry practices, remember to be gentle and use care when flossing to keep your gums happy and healthy. If you need more tips and tricks for proper flossing in Cornelius, NC, don’t hesitate to call us today at (704) 896-7660.


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