The Secret to the Best Flossing Technique

The Secret to the Best Flossing Technique

Team General Dentistry

Most people are in the habit of brushing their teeth on a daily basis, but many lag behind in the flossing department. Flossing is just as important as brushing when it comes to maintaining good dental health and hygiene.

What's the secret to the best flossing technique? Many tips can help improve your flossing efforts; however, the one thing to remember is to floss and keep doing it on a daily basis.

Tips for Flossing

Pull the Floss Tightly

When pulling the floss out of its dispenser, pull it tightly. Flossing is easiest when the floss is taut between your fingers as it slides up and down against each individual tooth. Generally speaking, the tighter the floss, the better.

Loop It Around Your Fingers

Don't hold onto both ends of the piece of floss using equal pressure. Instead, loop one end of the floss around the index finger. Such action provides more control over the floss as it's guided between each tooth.

Start on One Side of the Mouth

It's best to start on one side of your mouth. For instance, begin flossing on the top or bottom rows of teeth and slowly pull the floss across until you get to the opposite side of your mouth. 

Now stop and move over to the next row of teeth, going back and forth like this until you've reached the very last tooth. Doing this lets you avoid wrapping the floss around your fingers several times before you can complete one pass.

Don't Cut It Short

You might be tempted to cut the floss into smaller pieces, but it's not recommended. While cutting short pieces of floss might make it easier to hold between your fingers, it can make it more challenging to get a good grip on small pieces.

Use the Right Flossing Action

Be sure to use an up-and-down motion when you're flossing. Ensure that it's an actual back-and-forth motion and not a side-to-side one. Not flossing correctly could end up doing more harm than good.

Make Room for More Floss

It's hard to be precise when flossing between the molars. As such, it's recommended that you try pushing the floss down against the outside of each tooth, giving you a little extra room to move the floss back and forth.

Use a Rotating Motion

For smaller spaces, perhaps around each tooth's curved surfaces, use a rotating motion with the floss. Wrap the floss around those areas and then slide it back and forth like usual until they are clean.

Frequently Asked Questions About Flossing

Do I need to Floss if I Have Braces?

Yes, you still need to floss if you have braces (unless they are clear aligner trays). In fact, with braces, flossing is even more critical since there are more areas for plaque, bacteria, and food to build up. Instead of traditional floss, it's best to use a floss threader to get around and in between your teeth or interdental brushes as opposed to regular dental floss or tape.

When Should Kids Begin Routine Flossing?

For children under ten years of age, an adult should be flossing the teeth as younger children may not have the skills and dexterity to floss effectively. However, flossing between their teeth should begin as soon as they have two teeth.

Call Fabey Dental Studios

If you need advice about flossing or any other area of your dental health, the dental providers at Fabey Dental Studios are here to help! Call our Easton, PA office at 610-810-2704 to schedule an appointment today.