Am I Flossing Right?

am-i-flossing-rightAs an essential part of a good hygiene routine, flossing your teeth every day is the only way to remove the plaque and food particles that accumulate between your teeth. Otherwise, the oral bacteria in plaque, which feed on these food particles, can lead to chronic issues like tooth decay and gum disease. Yet even if you do floss every day, doing so incorrectly can still leave you susceptible to dental problems. Incorrect flossing can leave behind plaque to calcify into tartar or harm the gum tissues around your teeth. Fortunately, your dentist can tell if you’re flossing right, or if you may need to make improvements to your daily hygiene routine.

Tips for Better Flossing

  • Use enough floss – To make sure you have enough for optimal leverage and to use fresh sections for each tooth, be sure to pull off enough floss; generally, about 18 inches should do. Wrap the majority of the floss around the middle finger of one hand, and the rest around your other middle finger.
  • Follow the contour of your tooth – Begin by wrapping a section of the floss around the side of a tooth, following its contour closely. If the floss doesn’t follow the tooth’s curve, then it won’t effectively clean the tooth’s surface.
  • Use an up-and-down motion – Move the floss in an up-and-down motion, being firm enough to maintain contact with the tooth but gentle enough to not traumatize the surrounding gum tissue.
  • Use fresh floss for each tooth – Before moving to the next tooth, be sure to use a fresh section of floss to avoid spreading any oral bacteria or food particles. Simply unwrap a loop from around the finger with the most floss while wrapping the used loop around the other finger.

Flossing correctly, along with consistently good brushing and visits to your dentist, can help you avoid the need for extensive restorative treatment later. Get more tips for improving your hygiene routine and a better chance at preserving your smile by scheduling regular checkups and cleanings as often as your dentist recommends.

To make your next appointment, call our dental office in Syosset, NY, today at 516-433-2211 or 516-921-1678. We proudly serve the residents of Syosset, Long Island, Nassau, Suffolk, and all surrounding New York City communities.