Posted .

In addition to brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day is essential to optimal oral health. But what is the correct way to floss? Here are a few tips to help you properly and effectively floss:

• Wash your hands with an antibacterial soap. This is important especially if you haven’t flossed in a while, as you may experience some bleeding and germs from your hands could infect your gums.
• Use about 18 inches of floss. Wind most of the floss around one of your middle fingers and the rest around the middle finger of the other hand. Only about two inches of floss will run between the teeth at a time. Use the extra floss to change to a new, clean section from time to time. This keeps bacteria from transferring from one place to another. The finger with less floss will take up floss as it becomes dirty.
• Gently guide the floss between your teeth by moving it back and forth. To avoid damaging the gums, never snap the floss into the gums.
• Using a C-shaped motion, gently slide the floss under the gums against each side of each tooth.
• Gently glide the floss up and down the side of each tooth to remove plaque.
• Make sure to floss the back side of your back teeth.
• If you floss your teeth before brushing, make sure that you brush well afterward. If you brush first, consider using a mouthwash afterward to remove the loosened bacteria from your mouth.
• If you use a floss pick, take care to avoid transferring bacteria. Switch to a new floss pick as needed.

We welcome you to talk to our dentist today for more information about proper dental hygiene.