Proper Flossing Techniques

It’s common knowledge that flossing is an important part of dental health. Flossing removes food debris that can irritate your gums — we’ve all had those post-popcorn regrets! — as well as hard-to-reach plaque that might otherwise cause cavities and gum disease.

Even though everyone knows flossing is important, though, not nearly as many people know the correct way to floss! Don’t waste your time or your floss with the wrong technique. By following three easy steps, you can maximize your efforts and give your teeth the thorough cleaning they deserve!

Use All the Floss You Need

Wind a long length of floss between your pointer or middle fingers on each hand. Don’t be afraid to use a lot of floss; you want a completely clean strip of floss for each individual tooth.

Guide Your Floss

Using an exposed length of floss that’s about one to two inches long, carefully guide that floss between your teeth, using a zig-zag pattern to clear out as much plaque as possible. Don’t simply “pop” that strand of floss quickly down and back up; take your time and guide your floss over each of the neighboring teeth.

Contour Your Teeth

Gently slide your floss under the gum line of your teeth, and contour your floss around each tooth in a c-shape while sliding your floss up and down. Lastly, when moving to floss a new gap between your teeth, make sure you’re using a clean stretch of floss!

When you’re flossing correctly, you can remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup down the road. Plaque is sticky and can be hard to remove, even if you brush your teeth thoroughly. When that plaque is in between your teeth, you can imagine that it becomes that much harder to brush away. 

Because floss is the only tooth that can effectively get at the plaque between your teeth, it’s essential to good dental health! If you can establish a good flossing habit now and encourage your children and loved ones to do the same, you’ll all be reaping the benefits long into the future!