Five Steps to Proper Flossing

By Steven Kail on January 22, 2016

Close-up of a woman removing a strand of dental flossAt Premier Dental Center, we believe that patient education is as important a part of general dentistry as comprehensive oral examinations and through cleanings. With proper knowledge of how their mouths work and how to keep their teeth and gums optimally healthy, patients can prevent the sort of dental problems that can lead to considerable pain and expensive restorative dentistry treatments down the road.

Among the things we routinely teach our patients during general dentistry appointments are proper flossing techniques. At our Jackson, TN dental practice, many patients are surprised to learn that they didn’t really know how to floss properly before we advise them. However, without a proper flossing technique, you are truly missing an essential piece of your at-home oral hygiene regimen.

Please have a look at the following tips on how to floss properly, and then contact Premier Dental Center to schedule your initial appointment with our team of friendly dental professionals today.

Five Steps to Proper Flossing

First of all, it doesn’t really matter if you floss before or after you brush your teeth. As long as you floss your teeth, you’re good. The most important thing is that you floss every time you brush your teeth.

Here are five simple steps to proper flossing:

  1. You’ll want to use about 18 inches of floss, winding most of it around your one of your middle fingers and a smaller portion around the other. Leave about an inch of floss between your fingers to work with.
  2. Hold the floss taut between your thumbs and your index fingers.
  3. Using gentle force, you can now guide the floss between your teeth using a zig-zag motion. Do not snap the floss.
  4. As you approach the gum line, curve the floss around the base of the tooth, making a “C” shape. Slide it against the surface of the tooth and under the gum line. Using the same zig-zag motion, bring the floss up and away from the teeth.
  5. Using a clean section of floss, repeat this process between each tooth in your mouth until you have flossed between every tooth - not forgetting the surfaces behind your very back teeth.

This technique can be modified accordingly if you use a hand-held flosser or an electric flosser. It should also be used no matter what type of floss you use. Be sure to use clean floss every time you floss. Dispose of the length of floss you use each time. Never, under any circumstance, re-use a length of floss.

Be careful to use gentle force when flossing your teeth. As with brushing, using too much force with flossing will not remove any more plaque or debris from your teeth, and it could cause serious damage.

Learn More about Proper Flossing Techniques

If you would like to learn more about proper flossing techniques, or if you want to schedule your initial consultation with one of our esteemed dentists, please contact our cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry practice today.

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