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3 Tips for Proper Flossing

As soon as we grow teeth, we begin practicing oral hygiene to keep them clean and healthy. We know brushing our teeth twice each day is crucial, but so is flossing in between your teeth.

Though you learn the mechanics of flossing at a young age, you might not get your teeth as clean as they should be if you do not use the proper technique. Make sure you keep your teeth safe by learning the best way to floss. Read on to find advice from your dentist that will ensure you floss your teeth properly and effectively.

flossing to clean between teeth

Maintain a Secure Grip on Your Floss

A good technique when it comes to flossing begins with getting a solid grip on the string. Use about an 18-inch string of floss and wrap each end of it around the middle fingers of each hand.

Then pinch with your index and thumbs of both hands to maintain a firm hold of the middle section of the floss. There should be about an inch of floss between them for you to work with.

This type of grip allows you to have effective control and flexibility over the floss as you proceed to clean between your teeth. You should slide the string of floss from your middle fingers to reveal a fresh section of floss as you move through your mouth.

Maneuver Floss with Purpose

Once you have a solid hold of your floss, you can begin the movement to clean your smile. Gently insert the middle section of floss between two of your teeth. Press the floss against the side of one tooth and carefully rub it up and down.

The gentle motion is important so that you do not irritate your gums. If you notice frequent bleeding in your gum tissue, ask your dentist for a periodontal disease screening.

While in the same position, press the floss against the side of the other tooth and rub it up and down again. Then you can remove the floss, slide the string to reveal a clean piece, and repeat this action for your entire mouth. This purposeful movement of the floss will make sure you get a targeted and effective cleaning.

Consider Alternative Flossing Tools

Dentists agree that traditional string floss will clean your teeth in an efficient and thorough way. However, some dental patients might benefit from using an alternative flosser to address their unique dental needs.

For instance, some people may use floss picks, a string of floss attached to a plastic handle. This can be easier to move and slide between oral appliances, which will help patients undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Other people may want to use a water flosser, a device that generates a stream of irrigated water that a patient can point at their teeth to clean them. Patients with dental implants and other fixtures might appreciate this tool. But they should note that water can splash easily with this device and may make a mess.