A Complete Guide to Flossing Teeth

A Complete Guide to Flossing Teeth

Team Flossing

No matter how much dentists and dental hygienists warn us about the importance of flossing, the vast majority of people still don’t do it. Why not? Because the task seems daunting, or tedious if you have never made it a regular habit. Many people don’t know how to properly floss their teeth. 

If you’re ready to improve your oral health, this complete guide to flossing teeth will help you get started. 

Why Do I Need To Floss My Teeth? 

As you know, plaque is the enemy of oral health. It causes both tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque is a sticky film of food residue and bacteria that clings to the teeth and settles into even the smallest microscopic areas of your mouth. One of the most common and convenient places for plaque to hide is in the spaces between your teeth. 

When you brush your teeth, the toothbrush is only capable of reaching the surface of your teeth. The bristles can’t get into the spaces between your teeth. This is where flossing becomes important. Floss can get between your teeth to remove food particles and plaque, reducing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. 

How To Floss Your Teeth 

Flossing the traditional way with string floss is still the recommended method according to dental professionals. There are different types of string floss, including waxed, unwaxed, superfloss, and more. You can choose your preferred type. 

Start by tearing off a piece of floss that is between 18-24 inches. Wrap the floss around your middle fingers on both hands until there is about 2 inches of floss stretched between them. Use your index fingers on each hand to slide the floss gently between each of your teeth. Wrap the floss slightly around each tooth and slide it all the way down into the space between your teeth and gums. Use a clean part of the floss between each tooth. 

Flossing Tools

If flossing with string floss is difficult for you for any reason, there are flossing tools that can make it easier. 

  • Plackers. Plackers are plastic sticks with a u-shaped head that has a short piece of floss suspended across it. These can make flossing easier, especially between the back teeth. Be sure to curve the floss around each tooth to get down into the space between the teeth and gums. 
  • Floss picks. Floss picks are narrow plastic pieces with a pointed end that are designed to fit into the spaces between the teeth and gums and clear out plaque. 
  • Water flossers. A water flosser consists of a wand with a pointed end that sprays pressurized water into the spaces between your teeth to clear out plaque. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Flossing 

How often do I need to floss? 

We recommend flossing your teeth once a day. This frequency removes the majority of the plaque from between your teeth without causing irritation to the gum tissue. 

What type of floss is best? 

There is no one type of floss that works best for everyone. You may need to try a few different types to find out what you prefer. We can make a recommendation for floss or flossing tools based on your oral health needs and your lifestyle. 

Learn More About Flossing and Oral Health

Renan Williams, DDS is a family dental practice in North Richland Hills, Texas. An important part of the dental care we provide for patients is education on oral hygiene habits at home. We are happy to demonstrate proper flossing technique to help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health. 

Call 817-281-4801 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.