Did you know that most cavities happen between your teeth and not the fronts or backs of your teeth? That’s why it’s very important to clean the gaps between your teeth.
However, most toothbrushes don’t actually reach between your teeth. Therefore, while brushing is important, it’s not enough. Luckily, we have to floss to help us here. Floss is great at removing bacteria and plaque from in between your teeth so it’s fantastic at preventing cavities.
Keep reading, because in this post, we’ll explain a simple flossing technique that we encourage everybody to do.
How to floss
- First, take a good piece of dental floss and wind it up with your index fingers. Don’t wind it too tightly though or you might hurt yourself!
- Next, use both thumbs to pinch the floss. You should only leave about one inch of floss to work with at this point. If you leave any more, then you will make it more difficult to floss your teeth. Indeed, one reason why so many people have trouble flossing is that they try to get too much floss in their mouths.
- Then, start flossing your upper teeth. Simply choose a place to start from and slide the floss between the two teeth. Then clean the surface of each tooth by sliding the floss up and down. Don’t use a side to side ‘saw’ motion though – it’s better to use an up and down motion.
- When you’ve removed all the plaque from a tooth, you’ll hear the floss start to squeak. At this point, work on the next tooth. Then gradually work your way all around your mouth until you’ve done all your upper teeth.
- Once you’ve finished flossing your upper teeth, you can move on to your lower teeth. With your lower teeth, it’s actually easier to use your index fingers and middle fingers rather than your index fingers and thumbs. By using your middle fingers, it will makes be easier to manipulate the floss from one tooth to the next.
Overall, it should only take you a couple of minutes to floss all your teeth. But if you’re slow at first, then don’t worry – your technique will improve will practice!
What should I do if my gums bleed when I floss?
If your gums bleed when you floss, it’s normal if it’s your first time flossing. Your gums will get used to the floss after about a week of flossing, after which they won’t bleed anymore.
Bleeding gums can also be a sign of gum disease, so if your gums continue to bleed when you floss, then do see a dentist to get it checked out.
Flossing really makes a big difference in the long term of your dental health and it’s not very difficult to do either. So please do make flossing a part of your regular dental routine, if you haven’t done so already.
If you’d like to talk to use about flossing or about any other dental topic, then just make an appointment with one of our dentists by speaking to our friendly reception team. We look forward to seeing you!