You’re flossing. Great. But in order for dental floss to effectively remove plaque from your teeth, you need to be sure you’re using the correct technique.
Because you’ll be putting your fingers into your mouth, be sure to wash your hands before you reach for the floss. Then just follow these steps:
- Use enough floss. Break off a piece about 18 inches long. That sounds like a lot, but you want enough to keep a clean segment in place as you move from tooth to tooth. Wrap most of the floss around either the middle finger or the index finger of one hand, whichever you prefer, and a small amount onto the middle or index finger of the other hand. (Using the middle finger leaves your index finger free to manipulate the floss.)
- Slide between teeth. Gently slide the floss between the teeth in a zigzag motion and be careful not to let the floss snap or “pop” between teeth.
- Form a “C”. Make a C shape with the floss as you wrap it around the tooth. Then carefully pull the floss upward from the gum line to the top of the tooth.
- Roll along. As you move from one tooth to the next, unroll a fresh section of floss from the finger of one hand while rolling the used floss onto the finger of the other hand. Use your thumb as a guide.
- Reach both sides. Don’t forget to floss the back side of each tooth.
As long as you use the correct technique, the type of floss you use is a matter of personal preference. There are many types to choose from, and you can even choose a variety of types to meet your needs and those of your family members. Either way, using the correct technique will help you remove the excess food particles and plaque buildup between your teeth and help improve your oral health.