Don't Be Strung Up By Floss: How To Guide For Flossing

woman flossing teeth

Flossing teeth properly is essential for keeping good oral hygiene. Flossing removes plaque that can develop between teeth and also helps in preventing tooth decay and avoidable gum disease by cleaning the tight spaces between teeth that your toothbrush can't reach. Take the time to learn how to floss properly to ensure that your teeth are healthy and beautiful for years to come.

Floss Once a Day

The Indian Dental Association (IDA) recommends flossing before brushing each day. If you get into the habit of flossing before you go to bed at night, you won't need to worry about flossing more than that. Excessive flossing is ineffective and can actually damage and cause irritation to sensitive gum tissues.

Use a Gentle Touch

It's important to be gentle while flossing. Many people apply a lot of pressure or use a vigorous sawing motion, thinking this will get their teeth clean better. But this kind of forceful flossing can lead to bleeding gums. Instead, floss lightly. Do not force or snap the floss against the gums. Try to use the side of the tooth to slide the floss gently into place.

Know the Proper Technique

Instead of using too much of force or flossing excessively, doing it according to the proper method will leave your teeth sparkling clean and pain-free.

  1. Dispense about half a meter of floss.
  2. Hold a short amount of floss between your thumb and fingers, and insert it between your teeth.
  3. Curve the floss around each tooth in a "C" shape.
  4. Gently move the floss using a slow back-and-forth motion and up and down and under the gumline. Be careful not to apply too much pressure.

Use a new section of floss for each tooth.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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How to FLOSS

  1. Pull 18 to 24 inches of dental floss from the floss dispenser.

  2. Wrap the ends of the floss around your index and middle fingers.

  3. Hold the floss tightly around each tooth in a C shape; move the floss back and forth in a push-pull motion and up and down against the side of each tooth.

How to BRUSH

  1. Place the toothbrush at a 45°angle along the gum line. Move the toothbrush in a back and forth motion, and repeat for each tooth.

  2. Brush the inside surface of each tooth, using the same back and forth technique.

  3. Brush the chewing surface (top) of each tooth.

  4. Use tip of brush to brush behind each tooth — front and back, top and bottom and up and down strokes.

  5. Be sure to brush your tongue to remove odor-causing bacteria.

Don’t brush off your oral health

Brushing and flossing are the keys to a healthy smile. Check out of products to find what’s right for you.