How to Properly Use Dental Floss

Think about your friends and family, a quick survey of them might reveal that they don’t quite understand how to properly use dental floss, or they don’t floss regularly.

For most patients, it is normal to forget about dental floss, which has lead to many people developing a bad habit of not regularly flossing their teeth. In this article, we are going to dive into the proper way to use dental floss and all the advantages that come with regularly flossing your teeth.

The Importance of Flossing

Flossing may be neglected by many, but that doesn’t make it any less important than brushing your teeth. Brushing and flossing are two sides of the same coin in the fight against gum disease and maintaining good oral hygiene.

Both flossing and brushing your teeth can help you maintain shiny white teeth and avoid rot and discoloration. Two issues that can really impact your self-esteem and overall health. Poor oral health can lead to bad breath and mild to severe dental pain in your teeth and gums.

The big issue that comes from neglecting to floss your teeth and not keeping adequate oral hygiene standards are colonies of bacteria building up around and between your teeth and gums. This bacteria can cause several health problems including gingivitis, root canals, tartar, and viral infections.

When foods are broken down in our mouths they leave behind nutrients and food for bacteria to grow. If left unchecked for too long this bacteria can grow large enough to cover your teeth and cause you to develop plaque. Once the colonies of bacteria have taken root in your gums and solidify, it then turns a dark brown color near your gums and becomes tartar.

Tartar and other bacteria can seep deep into your gums and destroy the inside of your mouth. This can lead to gum disease and tooth loss.

How Flossing Can Help

When you use dental floss between your teeth you are effectively removing the bacteria and left-over food from the spaces between your teeth. Once the floss is in your mouth slowly and gently move the floss back and forth from the base of your gums upwards along the walls of each tooth. It is best to treat each tooth independently and when you are working around the base of your gums, make sure you bend the floss into the shape of a “C” so the floss can go deeper into the gum line.

The goal of flossing is to get a gentle and thorough cleaning between each tooth and to repeat the process throughout your entire mouth. Every tooth, front and back, should receive the same amount of attention, especially the teeth in the back of your mouth that’s harder to reach.

As you work the floss through your teeth, be sure that you remove the plaque and build up from the floss before moving to the next tooth. You can also use a new piece of floss as you make your way through your mouth to ensure that each tooth gets properly cleaned.

Flossing and Other Oral Hygiene Techniques

Flossing is just as important to your teeth as brushing is. While brushing focuses on the visible exterior of your teeth and removes surface-level plaque and bacteria, flossing can improve the look, feel, and whiteness of your teeth.

Combining flossing with mouthwash and regular brushing, your mouth will smell better and improve the quality of your breath and smile. Mouthwash should be used after you floss to flush out any displaced bacteria or plaque that might’ve been loosened by the floss. As a final tip, remember not to rinse out your mouthwash with water at night. Mouthwash is meant to coat your mouth and kill any bacteria in your mouth while you sleep.

Want to Learn More?

Dental floss is just 1 of the things you can do to maintain good oral health. To keep your body and especially your mouth healthy, you should know how to keep it clean.

Take a look around our site for more information on how you can keep your teeth pearly white!