Ok, so very few of us are as excited as the title may say, but you should be. When partnered with good brushing, flossing will keep you out of my chair more than anything else you do in your mouth. The problem is that we all know that we should floss each day, but many of us are doing it wrong. Before dental school, I would try to floss at least a few times a week (maybe not during those late nights at college when I was…studying). The problem was that I was doing it wrong or rather I was not doing it effectively. So here you are, a step by step method of flossing. Because if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right.
1. First, choose a floss that works with you teeth. There are a bunch of different types out there so you need to find one that you can get in between your teeth with shredding or breaking. Also, for those with dexterity issues, there are floss holders that can help you.
2. BEFORE brushing your teeth, measure approximately 18 inches of floss, and wind each end around your middle fingers. Grasp 1 to 2 inches of the floss with your index (pointer) finger and thumb.
3. Gently guide the floss between the teeth without snapping it so you don’t damage the gum tissue.
4. Angle the floss so it hugs the tooth in a “c” shape. Gently slide the floss up and down the surface of the tooth making sure it goes slightly below the gumline. When complete, angle the floss to hug the tooth in the opposite direction, and repeat this step.
5. Floss all the teeth moving from upper right to left, then lower left to right. Rewind the floss after each tooth so you are using a clean, fresh part of the floss.
6. Always follow up with brushing (preferably an electric toothbrush) and you can rinse with mouthrinse or fluoride rinse at that time.
*Thanks to ADA.com
*Check out this youtube video to demonstrate the proper technique How to Floss
Adults should floss at least once a day, preferably twice, morning and night. Kids should try to start flossing as early as possible to develop good flossing technique and dexterity along with good oralcare habits. And yes, we all know it’s a hassle to take the time to floss each day, but think of the time and money you’ll be saving by not getting those cavities in between your teeth. As the saying goes, “You only floss the teeth that you want to keep.”