Flossing is an integral part of our daily oral hygiene routine. It helps in removing food particles from the areas where toothbrush cannot reach, such as the gum line between the teeth. If food particles and bacteria accumulate in such areas, it eventually leads to gum problems and early gum recession.
Majority of the people brush their teeth regularly but they don’t floss them. To prevent plaque accumulation over the teeth and it between them, it is important to follow a proper flossing technique.
As per the ADA recommendations, the correct steps to be followed while flossing are as follows-
- Break off 18-24 inches of dental floss from the pack.
- To hold the floss correctly, wind most of the floss on your middle fingers, leaving only 1-2 inches of floss for your teeth.
- Position the floss between your two teeth and move it up and down, making sure that it touches the sides of both the teeth. Make sure not to move it towards the gums as it may cause trauma to the gums.
- As the floss reaches the gums, bend it over the tooth to form a C- curve so that the floss it now able to access the space between the tooth and the gums. Move the floss back and forth to thoroughly clean this area.
- Bend the floss towards the front and back surface of the tooth to clean both the surfaces. Use your thumb to direct the floss between the upper anterior teeth.
- Gently remove the floss from between the teeth and proceed to the other teeth, making sure to use the clean section of the floss while switching from one tooth to another. Make sure to snap while removing the floss to prevent any injury to the tooth and the gums.
It is recommended that you floss first before brushing your teeth, as flossing loosens the debris and bacteria between the teeth, which can then be easily removed by brushing.
Take about 10-15 minutes daily to floss your teeth, for a healthy and naturally white smile.
DR. DEVYANI ALLEN