How do I floss properly?
Flossing is a way of cleaning in between the teeth, where the teeth sit very closely next to each other. It is necessary to scrape away the bacterial film against each tooth.
How do I floss properly?
Gum disease begins at the gum line and between the teeth. Daily flossing is an important part of an oral health care routine to help remove the plaque from the areas where a toothbrush cannot reach.
- Wind: Wind 20 to 30 cm of floss around your index fingers on each hand. Pinch floss between thumbs and index fingers. Use thumbs to direct floss between the upper teeth.
- Guide: Keep around 5cm of floss taut between your fingers. Use the index fingers to guide the floss between the contacts of the lower teeth.
- Glide: Gently guide the floss between the teeth and contour the floss around the side of the tooth.
- Slide: Slide the floss up and down against the tooth surface and just under the gum line. Do the same with the tooth surface on the other side of the gap.
Any type of floss you like, is fine, whether it is waxed, unwaxed, spongy floss or dental tape. Our dentists prefer teflon coated fibres which do not shred between the teeth, such as Colgate Total or Oral B Satin floss. Some flosses are better than others so try a few to see which you like. It doesn't matter whether you start with your upper or lower teeth, or whether you start at the front or at the back. Our dentists like to start at the top right at the back, work around to the top left, then the lower left at the back, around to the lower right at the back, but mainly this is due to routine.
Just ensure that you floss all your teeth, including the back side of the very last tooth on the left, right, top and bottom of your mouth. And don’t forget to floss just under the gum line, and along the sides of teeth that are next to any spaces where teeth are missing, as food particles and bacterial film can become trapped in these spaces too.
People sometimes ask if they should floss before or after tooth brushing, and we recommend after brushing, especially because it motivates people to continue when they see how much plaque or debris can be removed after brushing. Even if particles of food or plaque are not seen to be removed during flossing, it is important to disturb the plaque bacterial film that likes to stick to the surfaces of the teeth either side of the gaps between them.
OTHER WAYS TO CLEAN IN BETWEEN THE TEETH, IF THE FLOSS ISN'T HAPPENING
some people like floss picks or flossettes, which are fine to use / there are many different brands