Most Adults Don’t Floss Correctly: Are You One of Them?
If you want good dental health then flossing is a necessary part of that. However, while many people do floss daily, they don’t always know how to best floss. If you’re doing it half-heartedly or incorrectly, it’s likely better than not flossing at all, but there are a few simple steps that can make your flossing much more impactful. Read on to discover the truth about how to floss and then contact California Dental Group at (800) 407-0161 if you want to make an appointment with a dentist.
Make sure you’re using the right amount
Many people have no idea how much floss they should be using and so they use way too much or not nearly enough. The answer is that 18 inches, about a foot and a half, is the right amount to use. This is the standard recommendation that lets you get through your entire mouth without missing a tooth, yet doesn’t waste floss unnecessarily.
Wrap floss around your middle fingers and use up and down motions
Once you have the right amount of floss, wrap it around your middle fingers until there’s one to two inches between your fingers. Then floss around each of your teeth. Use gentle, vertical motions and avoid hurting your gums. The goal here is to slide the floss carefully against the surface of each tooth. This acts to get rid of any food or debris stuck between your teeth and to break up plaque formation.
Floss beneath your gums
It’s common for patients to have no idea that plaque can actually build up under their gum lines. The truth is that this is one of the spots your toothbrush has the hardest times reaching, and thus is one of the most important places to get with your floss. When you visit California Dental Group for your dental exam and cleaning we will get this area cleaned out, but it’s relatively simple to do from home with floss as well.
Resist the urge to snap your floss
If you have a group of tight teeth that are difficult to get the floss into, you may be tempted to snap the floss until you push it into the gap of these teeth. This can actually lead to bleeding and be worse for your teeth and gums than if you hadn’t flossed at all. Instead of doing this, ease the floss down slowly. Use a back and forth motion and never use force to push it down.
Still need help? Talk to your dentist
It can be hard to learn how to floss by just reading directions. That’s why we recommend you talk to your dentist directly. At California Dental Group, we’re always happy to demonstrate the right methods for you. Just give us a call at (800) 407-0161 for your cleaning and exam. Then let your hygienist know that you’d like advice on how to floss and we’ll get you going.