The Right Way To Floss Your Teeth: Detailed Guide
Your oral hygiene routine should include two minutes of brushing twice a day and flossing. Many people don't take the time to floss. Yet, according to the American Dental Association, flossing is one of the key ways to fight gum disease, cavities, and other oral problems. Here's what you need to know in order to floss correctly.
1. Choose the Right Kind of Floss
Before you even attempt to place floss in your mouth, you first need to choose the best kind. Popular brands are typically made of plastic. Yet using this kind of floss isn't good for the environment. Depending on what kind of plastic was used in the floss, you may also endanger yourself by placing the floss directly against your gums over and over again.
Instead, you may want to opt for a kind of floss that is both safe to use and safe for the environment. This floss is made of materials like corn fibers and bamboo fibers. Some even come with activated charcoal.
2. Prepare the Floss
Once you have your floss, you'll want to break off about 18 inches of it. The easiest way to floss your teeth is to wrap it around your middle fingers. Then you'll want to hold the floss between pointer fingers and your thumbs.
3. Guiding the Floss
When it comes to actually floss your teeth, one mistake many people make is that they snap the floss between their teeth. This is a mistake because the sudden jerking motion can cause the floss to tear into your gums. Instead of snapping it between your teeth, you need to gently and smoothly guide the floss between the spaces of your teeth.
Once you've guided it between your teeth, you'll want to curve the floss with your hands until it forms a C-shape. This shape should be formed against the tooth. Once you have the correct shape, you can slowly start to move the floss up and down your tooth.
4. Move Away from the Gum
Another common mistake that people make is that they floss back and forth. All this does is move the plaque and debris back against the gums and tooth. To draw the plaque and debris away, you need to move your floss in a down and up direction. You should always start by moving the floss away from the gums.
As your floss becomes dirty, clean it off with your middle fingers and resume.
5. Floss Every Side of Your Teeth
An important tip is to floss every side of your teeth. That also includes the backside of your last molar. It's easy to forget that side. Yet it requires flossing as well since it's a tight space that a toothbrush can't reach.
6. Dispose of Your Floss
You never want to reuse your floss. After a single use, the floss is covered in plaque and bacteria. Dispose of the floss in the trash. If you chose an environmentally-friendly kind of floss, then you can have peace of mind in knowing that the floss will degrade quickly in the landfill. Those who use standard plastic floss may find that their floss lasts for decades in the landfill without deteriorating. Worse, it may be picked up by an animal and choke them.
One final step is to rinse your mouth after flossing. This will wash out any remaining plaque or debris that was removed by your floss.
Flossing is a vital part of your oral health routine. It reaches places your brush can't. Protect your teeth and the environment by choosing a plant-based floss today.