You’re lying back in the dentist’s chair with your dental bib around your neck and the bright dental operatory light directed right in your eyes. Your dentist begins your checkup by poking around with their tools. Then comes the dreaded question: “Have you been flossing?” You sheepishly respond, “Yes, of course,” knowing good and well that the last time you flossed was when you saw this same dental hygienist six months ago. You know what they say, lying through your teeth doesn’t count as flossing.
Flossing is a crucial aspect of oral hygiene and should be conducted on a daily basis, along with brushing your teeth. If you feel that flossing is just too inconvenient and difficult, you might not be doing it correctly. Take a look through our helpful guide to flossing to see just how simple the process can be.
- Start with about one and a half feet of floss. Wind the majority of the floss around your middle fingers on each hand. The purpose of this is for these fingers to take up dirty floss and dispense clean floss. Unwind a new section of floss for each tooth.
- Hold the floss between your thumb and forefinger on each hand. A tight grip will ensure that the floss can easily fit between your teeth without too much force.
- Use a gentle back-and-forth motion to ease the floss between your teeth. Do not tug the floss into the space; this can hurt your gums and cause bleeding.
- Once you have eased in between the teeth, continue to move until reaching the gum line. Then, form a C shape with the floss around our tooth and proceed with a gentle sliding motion in between your gum and your tooth.
- Keep the floss taut against the tooth. Rub the side of the tooth with the floss in up and down motions but ensure that you are moving the floss away from the gum.
Flossing each day will reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease. Follow these steps in between each of your teeth at least once daily. It doesn’t matter when you do it — morning or evening, before or after brushing your teeth. All that matters is that it gets done! Just imagine the satisfaction you’ll feel at your next dental checkup when you can answer honestly about your flossing habits!