So of course you know how important flossing is to your oral health at this point. If you’re in the habit of flossing daily, that’s fantastic. Now, it’s a matter of making sure you’re flossing correctly to receive the full benefit of the practice. Here are some tips for making sure you’re cleaning your teeth properly and protecting your gums from damage.
First, start with about 18 inches of floss, wrapping the extra floss around your middle fingers and leaving about two inches between your fingers.
While holding the floss tight with your thumbs and index fingers, gently slide the floss between your teeth (and make sure you don’t “snap” it in place, as that could cause damage to your gums).
Once you’ve got it in place, curve the floss around the tooth you’re cleaning, forming a “C-shape” and gently floss around the base of the tooth, making sure you get beneath the gumline.
As you move to the next tooth, make sure you use a clean section of floss.
While it doesn’t particularly matter where you start in your mouth, most people find a routine, such as starting with the middle teeth and working their way around. What’s more important is that it becomes a daily habit, and right before bed is often the best way to remember to do it, but if you find that you’re too tired at the end of the day, then there’s nothing wrong with flossing in the morning. Also, some people believe that flossing before you brush is more effective, since it helps clear debris ahead of time. Again, as long as you are flossing, when you do it is a matter of personal preference.
If you’re not in the habit of flossing (you’re not alone) but decide to start, you may experience bleeding at first. While this causes many people to stop, a little bit of bleeding is not a major concern, and it should subside quickly if you stick with it. Daily oral care routines and regular visits are the best ways to protect your smile. If you have questions about the best types of floss for your particular needs, or if you’re due for a checkup, make an appointment today!