If you’re brushing your teeth twice a day, good for you! You’re doing just what the American Dental Association recommends. But don’t forget to floss. In fact, the ADA suggests you floss at least once daily, more often when possible. It’s one of the best things you can do to maintain your oral health and prevent bigger problems from developing later on. And the best way to make sure your pearly whites are as healthy as they can be is to know proper flossing technique.
Flossing the Right Way
These helpful tips will ensure you’re using your flossing time wisely:
- Start with a piece of floss about 18 inches long, or about the length from the tip of your index finger to your elbow. Wind the floss around each of your index and middle fingers, leaving about two inches of floss between your hands.
- Pull the floss so it’s taut and gently slide it up-and-down, making sure to reach just under the gum line, then wrap the floss around the base of each tooth and wipe each tooth two to three times.
- Be sure to use a new section of clean floss as you work on each tooth, and be sure to floss both sides of your teeth.
- Once you’ve finished flossing, brush your teeth. Flossing together with regular brushing is the best way to protect against gum disease and tooth decay.
The Best Type of Floss
Floss comes in many varieties – waxed, unwaxed, thick or thinner. Regardless of the type of floss you use, the fact that you’re flossing at all means you’re effectively removing more plaque from your teeth than you would from brushing alone. The bottom line: the best floss is the floss that gets used.
Your dentist can help determine the best type of floss to achieve optimal oral health. Dental products that have the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval are deemed safe and effective.