How to Use Dental Floss: The Proper Technique

floss with braces

Learn the proper technique to using dental floss.

Flossing is an essential part of everyone’s daily oral care routine, but do you know the proper technique? Unfortunately, if your technique is wrong, the floss will not effectively remove plaque from your teeth. Continue reading to learn about the proper flossing technique to ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy!

Step 1: Wind the Floss

The very first step of flossing is to wash your hands, as you don’t want dirty fingers in your mouth. Wind about 18 inches of floss around your middle or index finger on one hand, and a small amount onto the middle or index finger on the other hand. While 18 inches may seem like too much floss, you want enough floss to keep a clean segment in place as you move to a new tooth. Pinch the floss between your thumbs and index fingers, but leave a one or two-inch length in between.

Step 2: Guide and Glide

Using your index fingers, guide the floss between contacts of the lower teeth. Be sure to keep a one or two-inch length of floss taut between your fingers. Next, guide the floss between your teeth in a zig-zag fashion. You don’t want to pull too hard, as the floss could snap between your teeth. The floss should make a “C” shape as you wrap it around the side of the tooth.

Step 3: Slide

Slide the floss against the tooth surface, making sure to reach under the gum line and reaching the back side of each tooth. After you finish one tooth and move to the next, unroll a fresh section of floss to keep your teeth and gums clean.

Why Flossing Is Important

While many people know the importance of brushing two times a day, they are not sure why flossing is such a crucial step in a healthy oral care routine. Flossing is essential because brushing only removes about 50 to 60 percent of the plaque in your mouth because your toothbrush can’t get in between the teeth. This area is full of food particles and bacteria, so leaving flossing out of your routine can result in bad breath, cavities, or gum disease.

Keep Your Smile Healthy with Affinity

Affinity Dental has six dentists and provides a variety of services from pediatric dentistry to orthodontics. Affinity Dental is capable of meeting all your needs. With 170 combined years of treating a variety of dental needs, Affinity is committed to providing quality dental care. To get your teeth back into good health and make your smile bright, call us at 410-719-7900 or contact us online. For other useful tips on dental care follow us on Facebook.


Tags: , , ,