Things to think about when you floss

Flossing your teeth correctly is extremely important to good oral hygiene. Flossing removes plaque on and between your teeth. If the plaque is not removed, the bacteria attacks the enamel in your teeth, causing cavities, halitosis (bad breath) and even tooth loss. Flossing effectively removes plaque and should be done at least once a day. Here are some key points to keep in mind while you’re flossing.

  • Gently slide the floss between your teeth. It doesn’t matter which tooth you start with as long as you cover every tooth. Most people like to start in the middle between the two top teeth or the two bottom teeth. Once you’ve picked an area, slide the floss gently between your tooth and the gum line. You should do this carefully instead of being too aggressive, or you’ll increase the chances of bleeding or hurting your gums, and DO NOT snap the floss down into the gums. Think of it as gently rubbing the floss between the gum line and the teeth, not vigorously yanking it around.
  • Move the floss gently in a “C” motion. After you slide the floss between your teeth, you should curve it around and let it dip below the gum line. Once the floss is in place, move it up and down carefully. This will help reach the contours of each tooth. Then, floss in a back and forth motion to help scrape additional plaque and debris. When you’re done, gently move the floss back out the way it came.
  • Repeat the process between each tooth. Make sure to floss your teeth one at a time. Don’t try to floss multiple spaces at once. This will make the process less precise, and you’ll be more likely to hurt your gums. Also, use a clean section of floss for each tooth. If you run out of clean floss, pull out some new floss to finish the process.
  • Don’t forget the backs of your rear molars. Gum disease and tooth decay frequently occur on the back teeth. It can be a little bit harder to get in there, but you shouldn’t neglect this crucial part of flossing.

As you’ve surely heard since you were young, flossing is absolutely crucial to your oral health. If you’ve just started flossing regularly and experience bleeding, don’t stop. Stick with it, and the bleeding will stop once the habit is truly formed.