General Dental Informtion

The correct method of flossing

the correct method of flossing

You will ensure the long-term protection of your teeth by learning how to floss properly.

Flossing the teeth on a regular basis, in addition to brushing, helps to efficiently remove food debris and dental plaque from interdental spaces. Therefore, flossing properly will not only improve your periodontal and dental health but also prevent bad breath.

Brushing your teeth twice a day is preferred, but flossing can be done at any time of the day. If you understand how to floss your teeth properly, you can easily extract dental plaque and food debris, allowing the toothbrush bristles to travel freely through the gaps between your teeth.

Some people do not use dental floss at all, and others are not sure how to properly use it. I also included step-by-step instructions for flossing so that you can thoroughly clean your teeth.

To correctly floss your teeth, you only need to get 18 inches (45 cm) of dental floss and follow these steps:

Tools and accessories needed:

To correctly floss your teeth, you only need to get 18 inches (45 cm) of dental floss and follow these steps.

hold the floss with two fingers

1. How to hold a piece of dental floss:

Get about 25 cm of dental floss and wind most of the floss around both of your middle fingers firmly. Be careful not to damage the skin of your fingers. Leave only about 1 to 2 inches of floss for your teeth. You can use the rest of the floss if any part gets dirty.

floss with two fingers

2. Adjusting the length of dental floss:

Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers in a way that 1 to 3 inches or more of the floss is placed between your fingers. Use your thumb to floss the maxillary teeth and your index finger to clean the mandibular teeth.

flossing regularly between two front teeth

3. Flossing the teeth:

Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion.

Never snap the floss into the gums.

flossing between teeth number one and two

4. Take care of your gums:

As the floss reaches your gums, curve the floss at the base of the tooth to form a C shape. Take care of your gum health.

This allows the floss to enter the space between your gums and your tooth.

Be sure to insert the floss from one tooth wall to the other and not to press your teeth or gums with the floss under any circumstances, as this can cause serious damage to your gums and teeth.

floss between molar teeth

5. Get a new piece of floss and continue:

Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget the back side of your last tooth.

Repeat the steps as you move from tooth to tooth. With each tooth, use a new, clean section of floss.

Once you’re finished, throw the floss away. A used piece of floss contains a variety of bacteria, dental plaque, and harmful particles and won’t be as effective and could leave bacteria behind in your mouth.

girl who flossing

Consult your dentist to determine the form of dental floss is best for you. It is common to experience bleeding gums while flossing for the first few times. However, if the bleeding persists in an irregular manner, you should visit your dentist. In this case, your dentist would likely recommend that you have your teeth scaled.

It is also important to remember to thoroughly wash your hands before and after flossing your teeth.

Dr Abdolreza Jamilian Orthodontist
About Dr Abdolreza Jamilian Orthodontist

Dr. Jamilian, an orthodontist, has a specialized fellowship in orthodontic surgery and maxillofacial abnormalities and is a full-time professor in the orthodontics department of the Dentistry School of the Islamic Azad University. He is member of Iranian and European Board of Orthodontics (EBO) and is a member of the Iranian, American and European Orthodontists Association.

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