We often find that patients would like to floss and know that flossing is essential to good dental hygiene. However, patients often avoid this simple yet effective task. Are you one of these patients? Perhaps you floss but you consistently wonder if you could be doing something differently (or better). The good news is that you’re not alone: Many individuals feel uneasy about their daily habits but are too embarrassed to speak up during visits. First things first – we always encourage you to ask about anything, so we can help keep your smile healthy. For now, however, we suggest you learn more about the basics of successful flossing to get a head start on a cleaner grin.
How Much Floss Do You Use?
Are you just randomly tearing off what looks like enough floss and going from there? This can become maddening – particularly if you’re not starting with enough. We recommend beginning with approximately 18 inches of floss. You will want to use a fresh portion between every two teeth for improved dental hygiene.
How Do You Hold Your Floss?
Are you wrapping your floss tightly around your index fingers and suffering as you go? Do yourself a favor – gently wrap the dental floss around your middle fingers. Then, use your index fingers and thumbs to direct and guide the floss through your smile.
How Do You Floss Between Teeth?
Are you moving the floss up and down as it gently touches one tooth or the other? This is not the best option. Instead, bend the floss to the side so it gently wraps around the edge of your tooth. Then, move the floss up and then down to remove plaque and debris from your tooth and beneath your gumline. Repeat this motion along the neighboring tooth and then throughout your smile.