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How to floss your teeth correctly

As dentists, we see many patients that either aren’t flossing their teeth at all, or not doing it effectively. A recent YouGov survey has shown that only 31% of adults in the UK are flossing their teeth on a daily basis.

We may sound like a broken record during your dental health check-up, but it is really important that you are flossing your teeth on a regular basis. In this article, we will teach you everything you need to know about flossing your teeth.

What is the importance of flossing your teeth?

The process of flossing your teeth is a vital part of having great oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth only cleans approximately 65% of the surfaces of your teeth. The other 35%, the surfaces between the teeth, must be cleaned by flossing.

If you do not clean between your teeth, plaque and other debris will collect there. Over time, plaque will turn into tartar which you cannot remove without professional cleaning by a dentist or hygienist. It’s this tartar that eats away at the teeth, leading to tooth decay and gum disease.

How often should you floss your teeth?

We recommend that you floss your teeth on a daily basis to make sure that the plaque is removed from between your teeth. Whether you choose to floss in the morning or in the evening, it is up to you. As long as your teeth are being thoroughly cleaned on a daily basis, it will be effective. 

A common question that we get asked is whether you should floss before or after brushing. The answer is, it really doesn’t matter and it is completely your choice. 

What is the right technique for flossing your teeth?

You can clean between your teeth using dental floss tape, Y-shaped flossing picks or interdental brushes. Whatever tool you choose to use, using the right technique is vital if you want to effectively floss your teeth. By following the below steps, you will benefit from having the feeling of a clean mouth every day. 

  1. Before you begin flossing, wash your hands to remove any germs.
  2. Break off a piece of dental floss that measures around 18 inches long.
  3. Wrap the two ends of the floss around your fingers, keeping an inch gap between your two index fingers.
  4. Glide the floss between the gap between your teeth and slide in a zig zag motion to remove any plaque or debris. 
  5. Use a new section of floss for each tooth, and repeat the process.
  6. After you have cleaned your whole mouth, we would recommend rinsing with alcohol-free mouthwash to remove any debris left in the mouth.

We can teach you

If you would like more information on flossing your teeth, or would like to be shown the best technique, simply ask your dentist or hygienist in your next appointment.

Don’t have an appointment booked? Call us now on 0121 588 4541.

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