You may have been taught at an early age how to brush your teeth, but have you ever been taught how to floss your teeth properly?
You may have tried flossing your teeth in the past, but given up because you found the process awkward, time consuming, or painful. However, when you know the right product and the right technique, the process can be both quick and painless.
We all know that good oral hygiene practices lead to strong healthy teeth and dental flossing plays a valuable part of the process.
There are many products on the market for flossing your teeth including;
- Dental Thread
- Flossing Tape
- Floss Sticks
- Interdental Brushes
- Water Flossers
There many common questions relating to how to floss your teeth. The most common questions are:
- Is all dental floss the same?
- How do you use dental floss?
- Do you need special dental floss for braces?
Choosing the right product is a factor, but doing the job correctly is vital, otherwise you may not be protecting your teeth from the damage caused by plaque and bacteria.
The Best Way To Floss
It doesn’t take long to learn the best way to floss, and once you get used to a proper flossing technique you’ll notice your teeth feel cleaner and your mouth feels fresher.
The actual technique you adopt for how to floss teeth will vary according to the product you use.
Some commercial products carry their own recommended instructions, especially when it comes to an electric pick or water flosser.
The Best Dental Floss
Choosing the dental floss is a matter of personal preference. Different products have different characteristics which may appeal to you.
This comes in a waxed version, an unwaxed version, and in a range of different flavors.
There is a tendency for the string to shred, particularly if it catches on to a jagged tooth or sharp edge. However, it is highly popular and is fairly inexpensive to use.
This is a hardwearing shred resistant product which is said to be used by dental professionals worldwide.
Dental tape is similar to floss, but is flat rather than round. It is particularly useful for people with sensitive teeth and gums, although you can also find soft dental floss too.
How To Use Dental Floss
There are no shortages of videos around which show you how to floss teeth, but here is a quick and easy method to follow.
- Break off around twenty inches of dental tape or floss.
- Wrap the majority around the middle finger on one hand, and wrap a small portion around the middle finger on the other hand, leaving around two inches in between.
- Using the thumb and the index finger on both hands, grip the floss.
- Begin sliding the floss or tape slowly and gently between the first tooth.
- Slide up and down, curving the floss gently around the tooth as you approach the gum line and below.
- When the tooth has been treated, gently slide the flossing product back and forth until you remove it from the tooth gap.
- Unwind a clean portion of floss from the majority side and wind the used section onto the other middle finger.
- Continue the process, using a clean portion of the floss for each tooth until every tooth has been cleaned.
Using this method will remove food debris and plaque from the gaps between the teeth, helping to prevent gum disease, gingivitis, etc.
How To Floss With Braces
Flossing with braces can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.
You don’t have to buy special flossers for braces but some inexpensive products may be quite helpful in getting the job done.
The use of dental floss threaders can make the job so much easier. The threader is a special needle which holds the floss and allows you to feed it through the gaps between the orthodontic brace and the teeth.
An interdental brush can prove a useful alternative to traditional flossing when you have braces on your teeth.
Water flossing is also becoming popular with those who wear dental braces.
Everyone should learn the proper way to floss teeth from an early age. It’s an important part of children’s dental health and dental hygiene for kids, especially as they reach the stage where they might require dental braces.
If there seems to be a problem with bleeding gums, you may be overdoing it. However, bleeding gums can also be a sign of other dental problems.
If in doubt about bleeding gums, speak to your dentist, who may offer advice on how to floss your teeth more gently.