When it comes to flossing a lot of adults would rather do just about anything else, even something seemingly unpleasant, like taxes or clean a toilet, instead of floss their teeth.
But flossing is one of the best things, and EASIEST things, you can do for the health of your gums and teeth. It also works wonders for reducing chronic bad breath. So, it’s good for you, and for anyone near you!
If you want to improve your oral health, and you’ve been neglecting your flossing, here’s a quick refresher to help you get back into the groove. As you begin, you may want to use a mirror to help you perfect your moves.
1. Pick Your Floss Wisely – There are different types of floss out there. Your first step is to pick the right floss for your teeth, because some types work better for certain teeth, or if you wear braces. Here are some of the types you can choose. Nylon floss – waxed or unwaxed – is thicker and works well for patients, who don’t have very tight spaces between their teeth, or sensitive gums. PTFE floss is thinner and softer, but also more durable, so it’s less likely to break, which makes it a good choice for patients with tightly spaced teeth. Tape – waxed or unwaxed – is a wider, flatter nylon that works well for people who have larger gaps between their teeth. Super Floss works well for people with braces, dental bridges, or wider space between teeth. It uses a combination of three components to clean – a stiffened end, spongy floss and regular floss.
2. Use the Proper Amount – When you’ve figured out which floss is best for your teeth, take about 18 inches of it. Gently wrap the floss around one index finger and then wrap a few additional inches around the other index finger.
3. Hold it Properly– Holding the floss tightly between your forefingers and thumbs, insert it between your teeth – but please don’t hold it so tightly that it cuts off the circulation of your fingers.
4. Perfect the “C” Move – OK, once you’ve got your hold down, make a curved “C” shape with the floss and angle it against the side of your tooth.
5. Don’t Forget the Gums – Using the “C” move, gently rub the floss up and down against the side of the tooth, but make sure to get below the gumline. Pro Tip: If the floss breaks, you may be using too much pressure and can bruise your gums.
6. Give Each Tooth Equal Attention – Repeat the process on each tooth, using a clean area of the floss as you move from one tooth to another, loosening and tightening the floss. This will also help keep your fingers from getting too uncomfortable. Pro Tip: Be mindful of your back teeth to make sure that they don’t get left out.
When you finish flossing all your teeth, rinse with water or mouthwash. And as you master the art of flossing, you’ll be able to floss without a mirror, in the dark, or with your eyes shut. You will have become “one with the floss”.
Flossing daily, and correctly, will serve your teeth and gums…and breath well. So, it’s good for your health, and for maintaining friends!
If you’re not sure about your flossing technique, or you have a question about floss types or alternatives, please let us know when you visit with us. As you perfect the art of flossing, and master your brush stroke, don’t forget to complement your daily hygiene efforts with bi-annual cleanings and check-ups. If it’s been a while since you’ve been in, please do call us to make an appointment at Just give us a call at (425) 957-4700 or schedule a visit with us or contact us online.