Flossing: The Ins and Outs

One of the key factors in oral health and hygiene is flossing. It aids in the prevention of many dental problems. Flossing is often left out of daily routines because it can be difficult or painful. If you are excluding flossing from your routine determine the reason and speak with your dentist about what tools you can use to make the process easier and more comfortable for you.

There are different types of floss that are available. You can use traditional string type floss. It can be waxed or unwaxed and some even have flavors such as mint to make the process more enjoyable. Floss picks are becoming more and more popular because they hold the floss for you making a one hand job. However, floss picks do not clean as well as the traditional string floss. Relatively new to the market of home flossing in the oral irrigator. It is a device that uses water to blast away plaque and food particles. While each method has it’s own benefits and drawbacks flossing is mostly about proper technique.

proper flossing technique

While making sure that flossing is part of your daily oral care routine is important it is also important that you are flossing correctly. To floss properly you should

  • Use about 18 inches of traditional floss. Wind most of the floss on the middle finger of one hand and the rest around the middle finger of your other making sure to hold it tightly with your thumbs and forefingers.
  • Being gentle and not snapping the floss glide it down between the teeth using a rubbing motion. When you reach the gum line curve it around the bottom of the tooth.
  • Taking it one tooth at a time glide the floss between each tooth using an up and down motion unwinding fresh floss as you progress around the teeth.
  • As long as you are thorough it does not matter if you brush or floss first.
  • If you find it hard to handle traditional floss, remember to speak with your dentist and dental hygienist to find which product would work best for you and how to properly use each tool.

Oral health is important to overall health and bushing alone is not enough. Flossing everyday greatly reduces your risk for dental problems and other health issues.


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