Dental floss is an essential part of any oral hygiene. However, you have to make sure that you do it right. Dental floss will help you clean and dislodge food stuck between your teeth to reduce the number of bacteria and plaque in your mouth. We all know that plaque build-up contributes to cavities and gum diseases, so it’s vital to remove all of it properly.

Most people may brush their teeth regularly, but not all of them use dental floss usually. There are about 4 out of 10 Americans who use dental floss at least once a day. On the other hand, there are approximately 20% of people who never floss at all according to a national poll.

It is not enough to floss, but you have to do it correctly. Incorrect flossing will potentially damage the gums and teeth. So if you’re confused about the proper way to clean your teeth in between, here’s a step-by-step tutorial on the best way to use dental floss – you might be doing it wrong.


Why Should You Use Dental Floss?

For plaque removal, your toothbrush can not pass between your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film that contains bacteria, leading to cavities. Flossing, on the other hand, can help you reach those areas that your toothbrush can’t do. You can remove plaque and bacteria by flossing and brushing your teeth, which prey on sugar and food particles that linger in your mouth after chewing. Unwashed plaque can also gradually harden into tartar that can accumulate on your gum line and worsen gingivitis and gum disease.


How to Use Dental Floss Correctly for Proper Oral Hygiene?

The ideal time when using dental floss is to use it to yourself for about 10 or 15 minutes. Also, you can follow this step-by-step tutorial to floss your teeth properly.

  1. Cut off dental floss, over 18 to 24 inches. Wire most of the floss around both of the middle fingers to secure the floss properly. Place on your teeth just about 1 or 2 inches of floss.
  2. Then, hold the dental floss with your index finger and thumb.
  3. Put the floss in between two teeth. Move the floss slowly up and down, then smooth it on both sides of each lip. Don’t let the floss slip into your gums. It will rub the gums or bruise them.
  4. Make an arc shape to the floss at the base of the teeth to create a C pattern, as the floss enters the gums. In this way, the floss will reach the gap between your gums and the teeth.
  5. Follow the procedure as you switch from tooth to tooth. Use a fresh, clean portion of floss each time.


How Should You Use Dental Floss Correctly if You Have Braces?

If you have teeth braces, it may be more challenging to use dental floss. However, you belong to those persons who need it most. It is more crucial to do flossing correctly when you have braces to make sure that there are no plaques between your teeth as well as on the braces itself. So, here are some tips when using dental floss to the wires of your braces.

  • Cut off waxed dental floss, around 18 to 24 inches.
  • Stand in front of a mirror to ensure the floss falls where you need it to put.
  • Connect the floss between the teeth and the central thread. Twist through your index fingers the loose ends of the floss so you can quickly move around the floss.
  • Place the floss as softly as you can in between the two jaws. So move up and down the floss along both the sides of the teeth
  • Try doing an upside-down U with the floss when working on your top teeth.
  • Remove the floss gently and unthread it carefully from behind the wire. Stop pulling the floss out of your mouth as it may result in a dislodge wire.
  • Now, switch on to the next two teeth, and use the same strategy until you finish flossing all your teeth.


How Often Should You Floss for Best Dental Hygiene?

The American Dental Association recommends at least once, and twice for washing. Most individuals have a ritual first to brush their teeth, and then to floss. Nonetheless, flossing and brushing your teeth is generally recommended. Dental floss helps lift and loosen food and bacteria trapped in your teeth while cleaning removes specific contaminants.


What are the Different Types of Dental Floss?

Dental floss comes in many different types. You should choose based on the amount of room between your teeth, and whether you have braces or bridges. Many dental flosses become simpler to use in larger areas, while other floss forms are better to use in more tight spaces. Here are some examples that are different types of dental floss.

  • Dental tape. This form of dental floss is thinner and flatter like a rope, making carrying smoother if you have braces, holes, or big spaces between your teeth.
  • Standard floss. It is a small thread of acrylic, which can go in between the bones. This type comes as well as waxed or unwaxed, aromatized or unflavored. The wax-coated dental floss can make it easier to use if you have crowded or adjacent teeth.
  • Super flosses. This threader for dental floss can work with the plates, bridges, and gaps.


Is it Best to Use Dental Floss Before or After Brushing Your Teeth?

A study in 2018 suggested that first floss, then clean, is better. Nonetheless, the American Dental Association insists that either flossing first or brushing first, based on what you want, is appropriate. If you brush or floss first doesn’t matter as long as you do a thorough job brushing all your teeth and practice good oral hygiene habits every day.


Why Should You Use Your Dental Floss Before Brushing?

Most people use dental floss before brushing so that they can brush off all debris, and bacteria created by flossing. The brushing action takes these released particles out of your mouth when you floss and then cleanse them. As a consequence, the mouth contains fewer tooth microbes, and you’ll have a lower risk of developing gum disease. Furthermore, the fluoride in your toothpaste becomes better able to do its job in protecting the teeth . Apart from these, here are the other reasons why you should use dental floss first before brushing.

  • It helps in preventing gum disease. It is an illness of the mouth that damages the soft tissue and bones that sustain the teeth. It may be due to poor dental hygiene, including not regularly brushing or flossing, and avoiding regular dental cleanings.
  • It gets rid of plaque. Plaque is a primary reason for gum disease, so floss and brush every day is necessary. Usually, plaque will not tighten on your teeth if you floss daily and then wash them afterward. Do not forget to spit out any leftover toothpaste in your mouth after flossing and cleaning.


Other Dental Hygiene Tips

We care about your overall dental hygiene, so here are a few tips for proper flossing, brushing, and rinsing, to keep the teeth clean and healthy. Keep these in mind, and you can always be confident you’ll have a fresh breeze.

  • Floss regularly. Use your dental floss at least once a day, in the morning, or before bed at night. Break off between 12 to 18 inches of floss to floss correctly, then tie the ends around the fingertips. Move the floss gradually up and down the tooth’s sides to remove debris and food contaminants.
  • Skip the toothpick. Use floss to remove food trapped in the teeth instead of toothpicks.
  • Brush twice a day. Make sure to clean your teeth with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste twice a day for 2 minutes. Keep your toothbrush at an angle of 45 degrees, then pass the brush softly over the teeth. Make sure to clean all your teeth into the inner and outer rim.
  • Try fluoride. To strengthen the tooth enamel and avoid tooth decay, use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash.
  • Be gentle. Don’t be too rough to stop bleeding the gums while flossing. When the floss hits your gum line, bend it to create a C-shape toward your tooth.
  • Don’t forget to brush your tongue. It also prevents bad breath, eliminates bacteria, and helps to ensure good dental health.
  • Look for the seal. Only use the American Dental Association (ADA) Certificate of Acceptance on dental goods.
  • Visit your dentist. Schedule at least twice a year for regular dental cleanings.


Final Words

There’s more to good oral health than just brushing your teeth. It also includes flossing, including learning how to floss appropriately. Flossing helps remove toxins, debris, and contaminants from between the teeth, which reduces the risk of dental decay and gum disease. Assure that you also arrange regular dental cleanings at least twice a year, together with daily brushing and flossing.

If you are looking for the best dentist in Menlo Park, Marisa Walker DDS treats their patients with tenderness, love, and care. We use only state-of-the-art tools and equipment. Come visit our friendly staff to give you the most pleasant dental visit. If interested, feel free to send us your inquiries, or book a reservation here.