Nearly everyone knows that flossing is the way to keep your gums and the inside edges of your teeth clean. Flossing regularly can help to reduce the risk of gum disease, or it can even reverse the early stages of it. But flossing the right way is just as important as doing it at all. Whether you already floss or not, here's how to ensure that you're getting the most out of your efforts.
What Not To Do
There are a few misconceptions about flossing that some people have. Here's a quick overview of them to ensure that you're not following one of these misconceptions.
Sawing - Some people think that the best way to floss is to 'saw' the floss between teeth. That is to say, they pull the floss back and forth while the floss is taut. This can actually damage your gums if you pull too hard, and the sawing motion is unnecessary.
Quick Up and Down - Simply pulling the floss up and down is unlikely to get as much material out from between the teeth and from under the gums as it should.
Using Pressure - There's actually no need to go overly strong with the floss. Hitting your gums with the floss too hard could cause them to bleed or tear.
With those out of the way, here's how it do it right.
How to Do It Right
Flossing doesn't have to be hard. All you need to do is to know how to do it right. Follow these steps to maximize your flossing efficiency and effectiveness.
First, always start by using a clean stretch of floss. You don't want to reuse the same spot over and over as this will just spread germs.
Next, pull the floss down gently until it disappears under the edge of the gums. This is where you want the floss to be.
Now that the floss is under the level of the gum, gently pull the floss taut so that it's starting to wrap around the right tooth. Pull the floss from the front and the back so that it's hugging the edge of this tooth. Then, using this U shape, slowly pull the floss up in a scooping motion. This ensures that you're getting the maximum amount of food debris and bacteria up and out of the gum pocket.
Once the floss emerges from between your teeth, repeat the process on the other side with a clean spot of the floss. Repeat this process for all of your teeth.
Ideally, the last bit of advice one can be offered here is to always brush your teeth after flossing, not the other way around. Anything you loosen from between your teeth will just stay in your mouth and will continue to develop plaque if you floss after you brush.
For more information, contact a local dentist.