How to Floss

Has your dentist or hygienist ever really shown you how to floss? 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!

Step 1:

Measure about 18 – 36 inches (at least the length of your arm) of string 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 the string.

Step 2:

Using a sawing motion, gently slide the the string between two contacting teeth. Wrap the string in a C-shape around one tooth and then the other. Remember that there are two surfaces to clean between each tooth contact. Firmly move the string up and down the sides of the teeth. So not use a sawing movement after you have broken through the contact. Move toward and below the gum line slightly. Repeat this step, flossing in the opposite direction. Do not cut into gum tissue.

Step 3:

Floss all of your teeth. Use a clean section of string between each set of teeth 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.

Step 4:

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 the string through the spots, as breaking the string can damage gum tissue. If tight contacts between teeth makes flossing challenging, shop for specialized, more durable, waxed versions or dental tape.

Make sure that you know how to floss, jsut ask us to watch you

If questions about proper cleaning technique remain, talk to Dr. Fondriest. Discover what dental hygiene products are right for you, and have your mouth cleaning techniques work evaluated at our office. Call (847) 234-0517 to schedule an appointment.