Daily brushing and flossing keeps your mouth clear of food particles that breed gum disease-causing bacteria. Following the American Dental Association’s recommendation of brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day is crucial for good oral health. You should brush for two minutes, taking care not to brush too aggressively. Flossing properly requires extra effort, but by following the steps provided by Dr. James Fondriest, your Lake Forest dentist, you’ll be flossing with the best of them!
Measure about 18 – 24 inches (roughly the length of your arm) of floss and twist one to two inches of the ends around the index finger of one hand and the thumb of the other. This ensures you have a solid grip and enough floss to cleanse crevices between teeth with a clean section of floss.
Using a sawing motion, gently slide the floss between teeth. Angle the floss in a C-shape and floss the sides of two teeth, moving toward and below the gum line slightly. Repeat this step, flossing in the opposite direction. Do not cut into gum tissue.
Floss all of your teeth. Use a clean section of floss for each tooth to avoid adding more plaque and food particles to spaces between teeth. To keep track of your progress, move clockwise across teeth, from your upper left molars to the lower left molars.
After you have flossed all of your teeth, brush them and rinse your mouth. Either water or mouthwash will further cleanse your mouth of bacteria and plaque that you flossed from your teeth. Remember to floss before brushing for best results.
During flossing, you could experience some difficulty navigating tight spaces between teeth. Try to avoid forcing floss through the spots, as breaking floss can damage gum tissue. If tight contacts between teeth makes flossing challenging, shop for specialized, more durable, waxed floss or dental tape.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Lake Forest Dentist
If questions about proper flossing technique remain, talk to Dr. Fondriest. Discover which dental floss is right for you, and have your flossing work evaluated at our office. Call (847) 234-0517 to schedule an appointment.