How to Use Dental Floss Most Effectively
In our page about brushing to maximize effectiveness, we talked about the need for brushing as many of the surfaces as you can reach in order to remove plaque. There are parts of your teeth that your toothbrush has a hard time reaching no matter how well you brush. Removing plaque from between your teeth is one of the main purposes of flossing your teeth.
To get started, you will want a decent length of floss (probably around 2 ft). Pinch the ends of the floss between your fingers and wrap the floss until only a few inches remain between your fingers. Using your index finger and thumb, pull the floss between your teeth making a half circle in the direction of the teeth on either side of the space you are flossing. This allows the floss to contact as much of the teeth as possible. When flossing, be careful of your gums. The goal is to clean the teeth surfaces while irritating the gums as little as possible. In the space in between the teeth, press the floss against each side of the tooth (hug the tooth) and gently move it back and forth and up and down. Then move to the opposite surface of the adjacent tooth.
Benefits of Flossing
Flossing is important because it removes the plaque containing bacteria from between the teeth. This will help decrease inflammation and infection. We are fully aware that your gums may bleed the first few times you floss if you are not accustomed to it. This is all the more reason to continue flossing. Healthy gums should not bleed when you floss unless you are being extremely aggressive.
If you have any questions about flossing your teeth ask one of our amazing hygienists next time you are in the office. They are more than happy to make sure you know how best to care for your teeth!