Flossing Tips for a Healthier Smile

We practice oral hygiene in order to remove plaque, food particles, and harmful residues from our teeth. Brushing your teeth twice a day clears away plaque and tartar before they can harm your teeth. But flossing daily is just as crucial of a step in this preventative dental care regimen.

If you do not floss correctly, plaque will remain in between your teeth and eat away at your smile. To make sure you get your teeth effectively clean, read on to find advice from your dentist in Clearwater, FL about flossing your teeth with proper technique to get a healthier smile.

oral hygiene tips from your dentist

How to Properly Floss Your Teeth

Maintain Firm Hold of Floss

The way that you hold your floss plays an important role in getting the space between your teeth thoroughly clean. First, take about an 18-inch piece of floss and wrap the ends around each of your middle fingers. Then pinch about an inch of the string floss between your index fingers and thumbs.

This section of floss allows for a good amount of floss that you can maneuver between your teeth. The position will allow you to grip it tightly and firmly so that you will not lose your hold on the string. Once you use the floss, you can easily slide the floss between your fingers to reveal a fresh piece of floss to use for the next section of your mouth.

Maneuver Floss with Purpose

With a good grip on your floss, you can then start to clean your teeth. Do not just insert the floss and move it without purpose. Use proper technique to get the best clean for your smile.

Gently put the floss between two of your teeth. Press the string against the surface of one of the teeth and rub it carefully up and down the tooth. Then press it against the side of the other tooth and repeat this movement.

Take the floss out from the teeth and do this same motion with the rest of the mouth. Make sure you use gentle movements to avoid irritating your gums. If you do notice bleeding in your gums, continue flossing.

Consider Alternative Flossing Tools

Dentists agree that traditional string floss with proper technique is an effective way to clean between your teeth. But some dental patients may want to consider using specialized flossing tools during their oral hygiene routine.

Dental patients with braces or other oral appliances might benefit from floss picks. These are strings of floss attached to a plastic handle that can more easily move between wires and brackets to clean teeth.

Another flossing tool that may help dental patients is a water flosser. This device generates a stream of irrigated water that you aim between the teeth to clear away plaque and lingering food particles in your smile. If you have dental implants or other devices fixed in the mouth, this product could help you.