How to Floss Your Teeth
At Scarsdale Dental Team, we focus on educating our patients in preventative care, and flossing can be considered one of the most underrated, but the simplest tasks that people tend to miss when cleaning their teeth. We believe and argue that flossing is a crucial part of a healthy dental hygiene routine. Flossing, by its function, removes debris in between the teeth, and because it’s most often neglected, a lack of flossing is one of the most common causes of gum disease and tooth decay. We encourage flossing because flossing removes the debris and bacteria that toothbrushes and mouthwashes cannot reach and helps prevent the onset of oral diseases that greatly affect patients’ lives.
Another common reason for this lack of flossing; many people don’t know how to do it. We believe that by developing and teaching this oral habit to our patients, we can help prevent some of the most serious diseases and conditions that, in most cases, are irreversible. We help reinforce this form of hygiene by providing children and adults with instructions and products during our appointments. We can help parents with flossing by giving them educational resources to help teach their children at home these necessary habits.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Flossing
From the beginning of their education, every dentist right to their retirement will know how to floss teeth: here are our instructions for you to on how to floss your teeth in six steps:
Step 1: Break off 18 to 24 inches of floss. Hold the main section of the floss around your middle fingers, leaving at least 1 to 2 inches free for your teeth.
Step 2: Hold the leftover strand of floss between your thumbs and index fingers, giving your strand a tight hold.
Step 3: Slide the small section of floss in between two teeth.
Step 4: Pull upward and create a “c-shape” against one side of the tooth. You should see plaque and food particles slide and attach to the floss when you move it.
Step 5: Repeat this motion against the opposite side of the tooth, and then slide the floss out of the tooth.
Step 6: Continue this process by moving the floss to a new part of the strand and repeating these motions to each tooth. Make sure to reach the molars!
Commonly Asked Questions About Flossing
What are the benefits of flossing?
Flossing gets in between the teeth, and thus removes plaque that’s unable to be reached by toothbrushes. It keeps teeth happy and healthy and can make your breath smell great.
How long should I floss?
It would help if you flossed until you are unable to get any more plaque or debris from in between your teeth.
Are my gums bleeding normal after flossing?
Yes, because if this is your first time flossing, your gums have not acclimated to the pressure of the floss in between the teeth. Over time this process will become easier, and soon enough, your gums will not bleed or hurt after flossing.
If your gums continue to bleed after flossing and you wish to get a dental checkup, please contact Dr. Hofer at Scarsdale Dental Team to make an appointment. We’ll diagnose and treat any dental conditions you may have and learn the best hygiene habits for your health.