We've emphasized it time and time again: floss once a day to effectively remove plaque from your teeth. Flossing clears out the junk left in your teeth where a toothbrush cannot easily reach and aids on gum health, good breath and protects against diabetes as well.
You're flossing, that's great! But are you sure you're doing it the right way?
Read on as we highlight the correct techniques of flossing your teeth to receive maximum benefits. Because you'll be putting your fingers into your mouth, it's advisable that you wash your hands before you reach for the dental floss.
- Be generous and use enough amount of floss. About 18 inches of dental floss is recommended to keep a clean segment in place to allow you to move from tooth to tooth.
- Wind about 2 inches around the middle finger of your right hand and wind the rest of it around the middle finger of your left hand.
- Using your index fingers, gently slide the dental floss between the teeth to below the gum level in a zigzag motion, making sure the gums are not injured. Effective flossing requires dental floss to reach and clean each tooth's surface below the gum line where plaque is accumulated.
- Form a "C" with the floss and wrap it around the tooth. Then pull the floss carefully upward from the gum line to the top of the tooth, 2 – 3 strokes, up and down. Since flossing has to do with scrubbing food and plaque off each tooth's surface, keep the pressure of the dental floss against the sides of your teeth and not drawn onto your gums to prevent injury.
- As you roll along moving from one tooth to the next, move on to a fresh section of dental floss from the finger of one hand and using thumb as a guide, roll the used floss onto the finger of the other hand. Reach both sides and repeat down all the gaps. Remember to floss the back side of each tooth as well.
Floss every day after brushing your teeth. It always helps to set a daily reminder on your smart phone or computer to remind you to floss. Choose a time of day that is convenient for you and stick to it. Also you can keep track of your progress and offer yourself a little reward to reinforce the good habit of flossing.
Now that you have made flossing a regular part of your routine, incorporate these techniques into your daily oral care regimen to achieve that "Hollywood Smile."
The type of dental floss you use is a matter personal preference, and you can find a variety of them to choose from to meet your needs and those of your loved ones. Either way, as long as you floss your teeth and flow the correct technique, nothing can stop improving your oral health.
Lastly, do see your dentist every periodically for dental check-ups, teeth whitening and cleaning.