How To Perform a Five-Star Flossing Session

While most people who are aware of the basics of oral hygiene brush their teeth on a regular basis, there are less people who take care to also floss. Some believe that brushing is enough, others are accustomed to using a toothpick to clean between their teeth, and then there are those who find flossing too time consuming to be bothered. But in fact, flossing is an important component in your daily dental hygiene routine. To get the most out of flossing, follow these suggestions.

  • Select the right floss – If your teeth are close together, use a string or waxed floss. If there are large spaces between your teeth, a filament or unwaxed ribbon will be a better choice. You can buy scented or unscented flosses, depending on your personal preference.
  • Use the correct technique
    1. Cut a piece of floss about 15 inches (35 – 40 cm) long
    2. Wrap the ends of the floss around one dominant finger on each hand.
    3. Using your thumbs to prevent the floss from slipping off your fingers, insert the floss between two teeth.
    4. Rub the floss back and forth over the surface of each adjacent tooth, working on the entire tooth, from the top of the tooth down to the bottom part of the space. Get as close to the gum line as possible without causing your gums to bleed. Even if you feel no pain, do not force the floss down into your gums.
    5. After flossing each space between two teeth, adjust your grip on the floss so that you can use a clean section for working on the next space in line.
    6. Periodically rinse your mouth with water to remove particles of food dislodged by the flossing action.
    7. After flossing, remember to also brush your teeth! Ideally, you should floss and brush twice a day, but if you are in too much of a rush in the morning, then at least floss before you go to sleep.

Brushing alone cannot remove all of the food particles and plaque from your teeth. If plaque remains between your teeth, it hardens and turns into tartar that can only be removed at the dentist office. The bacteria that builds up between your teeth can cause tooth decay, eventually reaching the roots. Rather than waste time and money having your teeth drilled and extracted, it is preferable to give your teeth a daily five-star flossing treatment and avoid all the pain and expense that comes with tooth decay. If you've been neglecting your flossing routine for a while, it may be wise to see a dentist, such as one of those at the Sidney Harbour Dental Center, to ensure your teeth are in good shape.