How to Floss Properly

Your entire life, you’ve been told that it’s important to brush and floss your teeth, but why? Why are both dental hygiene measures necessary to maintain a healthy and bacteria free mouth?
The truth is, brushing your teeth only does half of the job. Yes, brushing your teeth thoroughly can remove plaque and bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth, but what about the particles of food and sugar that become lodged in the dark, tight crevices between your teeth? Your toothbrush can’t reach those areas.
That’s where flossing comes in. Dental floss is designed to be pushed between your teeth to clean those tight spaces. By flossing properly at least once a day, you are removing the plaque and bacteria that hide between your teeth and escape the bristles of your toothbrush.
This is just one of the reasons why flossing is so important to your oral health.
Correct flossing is a pretty easy thing to learn, and there are two techniques to help you out.
The Spool Method
To use the spool method, take about 18 inches of floss, and wind most of it lightly around your middle finger. Then, wind the remaining floss around the middle finger on your other hand. Now, push the floss between your teeth using your index fingers and thumbs. Gently bring the floss up and down several times around both sides of each tooth, making sure to reach below the gum line, forming a “C” shape around each tooth with the floss.
The Loop Method
To use the loop method, pull off an 18-inch strand of floss, and make it into the shape of a circle. Tie the circle with three secure knots, and place all of your fingers (not your thumbs) into the loop. Next, use your index fingers to direct the floss through your lower teeth and your thumbs to direct it through your upper teeth. Again, be sure to clean below the gum line, and make the floss form a “C” shape around the sides of each tooth.
For more tips about oral hygiene and health, call Dr. Coon’s dental office Sheridan, Wyoming at (307) 672-7567.