How To Floss Properly

Girl Flossing teeth

The most common piece of advice that our dental professionals dole out to patients is to always remember to brush every day. Coincidentally, most individuals who neglect to floss don’t know how to do it properly once they get into the habit.

Here is the Tempe Smiles guide on how to floss properly.

Step 1: Find an effective dental floss that works for you. There are several varieties including waxed, unwaxed, and flavored.

Waxed floss tends to slide between teeth more effectively. We also recommend using nylon floss as it is less likely to shred between teeth.

Step 2: Take approximately 18 inches of floss and tightly wrap them around your index fingers. Then pinch the floss using your thumbs. If done correctly you should be able to floss the entire mouth with a single piece of floss.

Step 3: Gently slide the floss between your teeth. Most people will start in the front of the mouth but you can start wherever you feel most comfortable. It’s important to be gentle during this process.

Step 4: Use a gentle up and down motion when flossing your teeth. This is where most people improperly floss; don’t use a “see-saw” motion as this doesn’t get the entirety of the gums and teeth.

Step 5: Repeat Step 4 for every tooth in the mouth and don’t forget to tackle the back molars.

Step 6: Rinse your mouth out with water or mouthwash immediately after flossing.

All in all, the flossing process should take no more than 5 minutes. Remember to floss every day to avoid health issues like gum disease and tooth decay.