How should you floss? - A Guide to Dental Floss

It is important to adopt the correct technique for flossing your teeth. It may seem easy enough but like anything in life, there is a right and wrong way of doing so.

It’s a good idea to floss after every meal or failing that, at least once a day. Floss your teeth after you have brushed them.

How to use dental floss

If you have never used floss before or are unsure about the best way of doing so then follow these steps:

1. Ensure that you have 50cm of floss.

2. Take one end of the floss and wind it around the middle finger on one hand and the other end around the middle finger on your other hand.

3. Grip the floss tightly between your thumbs and fingers but leave enough to use on your teeth.

4. Insert the floss into the space between a tooth and the gum. Wrap it gently around the tooth.

5. Then move the floss in an ‘up and down’ motion against the tooth. This action should remove any food debris.

6. Repeat this for every tooth and don’t forget the reverse side of your last tooth.

7. Rinse out your mouth with a mouthwash to remove the food debris.

8. If the floss becomes wedged in a place where it shouldn’t or there is a problem with this then speak to your dentist or dental hygienist.

9. If you find this difficult to do then use a flossing aid.

10. If you are new to flossing then start with your front teeth and progress to the back teeth.

You may notice that your gums bleed or feel sore after flossing. This tends to happen the first few days you floss but will ease after then. It is a result of the breakdown of plaque during flossing and is a sign that it has been successful. It also means that your dental health has improved.

If you experience any bleeding and this doesn’t stop then consult your dentist. It may be that you are using a bad technique or are not flossing on a regular basis. It could also be a sign of gum disease.

There are various types of floss available so it’s important to find one that you feel comfortable with and works best for you.

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