The Proper Flossing Technique

Young woman flossing teeth

Flossing is vital to removing bits of food particles that get stuck between teeth. You may be good about flossing every day, or even a few times a week. But if the food particles are not dislodged, they can turn into plaque. They may slowly creep below the gum line to where you can’t reach it, causing the gums to become inflame and bleed. This is why gums that bleed after flossing need more flossing rather than less. A whopping 32% of Americans say they never floss, and sadly many don’t start until there’s a problem.

If you’re ready to start flossing (or just flossing properly), follow these easy steps!

Use More Floss!

Make sure you start with at least 18 to 24 inches of floss. A good rule of thumb is to pull out enough floss to equal the length of your arm.

Use Your Fingers to Hold on Tight

Some people say they can’t floss because it cuts off circulation to their fingers. Luckily, some very ingenious inventors came up with the idea of stretchy floss. Try this floss from Listerine that flexes and stretches so it doesn’t cut off your fingers’ circulation. Just wrap the floss around your first two fingers, and hold the next portion with the thumb and forefinger of your other hand.

Remember to Hug Each Tooth

One of the most important things to do while flossing is to gently pull the floss between the teeth (you don’t want to cause trauma to your gums!), and then hug each tooth with the floss by creating a C shape. Slowly move the floss back and forth, trying to get slightly below the gum line. Don’t floss too hard! We just want you to disrupt and remove stuck food particles.

If you still need some instructions or advice on how to floss, let us know at your next appointment or dental cleaning! Call our office today to schedule an appointment.

The Proper Flossing Technique was last modified: March 6th, 2017 by Nina Arora