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5 Tips for Better Flossing

Flossing is an extremely vital step in maintaining good oral health. Not only is it important to breakout the floss every day, it is equally as important to use the right flossing techniques to achieve plaque removal. If you are struggling with flossing, check out the five flossing tips below to help guide you in the right direction.

Don’t Be Heavy Handed

Flossing Technique

When trying to get to those hard to reach places, some people fall into the habit of snapping the floss between their teeth. This is especially tempting for those whose teeth are very close together. Repeatedly snapping and cutting the floss deep into the gumline can cause the gums to recede over time. To preserve your gums, use a gentle hand and take your time when flossing. Even if it takes a bit of extra patience and persistence to cut through the plaque, your gums will thank you in the long run.

Don’t Skimp on the Floss

Dentists agree, around 46 centimetres of floss should be used every time you floss. That might seem like an awful lot of floss, but if you are flossing correctly you will need at least that much. To employ the proper flossing technique the floss should be wrapped around the fingers several times with an inch or two pulled tautly between the hands. The index fingers should be used to apply pressure to the floss as it moves between the teeth. Remember also to avoid using the same two inch length of floss for your entire mouth.

Use a Zigzag Motion

The purpose of flossing is to clear the plaque buildup under the gumline and around the contours of the tooth. To get the most out of flossing use a sawing motion or a zigzag pattern and wrap the floss around either side of each tooth. Dragging the floss from side to side across the tooth will ensure the plaque is chipped away.

Floss Before Bed if You Can

While flossing at any point during the day is better than not flossing at all, if you can, try to floss before tucking in for the night. While you sleep your mouth dries out, because you produce much less saliva than you would during the day. The decrease in saliva results in less bacteria transference throughout the mouth and your teeth remain cleaner for longer.

Follow a Pattern

It is easy to get distracted when doing a repetitive task like flossing. With practice, you may even be able to watch TV or do other activities while flossing. When your undivided attention is not focused on flossing, the risk of skipping over teeth or missing a section of your jaw entirely, runs high. To ensure each and every tooth gets some attention, follow a pattern, like flossing from right to left and top to bottom, and stick to it every time you floss.