Beginners Guide: How To Floss Your Teeth Correctly

Tijuana dentist on how to floss properly

Flossing is a cleaning method that most people ignore because they don’t know how to do it or don’t consider it as important as brushing.

But hey, if you are trying to be better for your dental health and add this step to your hygiene routine, we can help you understand the process so you know how to floss correctly and make your teeth healthier and brighter.

So let’s see. Flossing will help you reduce plaque, a biofilm that forms around your teeth when the bacteria in your mouth mix with different sugary foods. Plaque never rests, and if you don’t fight against it, it reaches stage two, and it becomes tartar. This is a hard yellowy material that can cause harm to your gums, bad breath, and give you tooth sensitivity.

Dental floss is your friend, but you do have to know how to use it correctly, or it’ll damage your gums and teeth. Check out this guide that will walk you through the right process of how to floss.

3 Types of Dental Floss

1. Choosing a Dental Floss

For this, it would be ideal to ask your dentist, as they will give the best choice for your teeth and might even share some tips on how to make it work. The thing is that some dental flosses will be more effective if you have braces or bridges, for instance.

That is why it is essential to determine which one adjusts the most to your teeth’ needs. These are some of the types you can find:

  • Dental tape: it can be waxed or un-waxed. The ribbon is wide and flat, allowing you to use it more easily if your teeth aren’t tight and have a few gaps, large spaces, or braces.
  • Standard floss: besides being available both waked or un-waxed, you can find them with flavor as well. The ribbon of this type of dental floss is thinner and made out of nylon. It is better for teeth that don’t have many gaps and are mostly tighter and close to one another.  
  • Super flosses: these are ideal for cleaning braces, bridges, and gaps between the teeth. It has three crucial elements: a stiffened end, a string of spongy floss, and regular floss. This design will allow you to clean under your appliances and remove plaque around the gumline.  

Additional tools to make the flossing process more comfortable and effective:

  • Disposable floss pick: It’s a small plastic tool, really simple to use as it holds the piece of dental floss for you. It’s great for reaching spaces that you usually wouldn’t be able to, like the teeth in the back of your mouth. 
  •  Water flosser or Waterpik: it is an electric flosser that uses water pressure to remove food and plaque from in between the teeth. These are an even better option for those with braces, crowns, or dental implants. But of course, it can be used by anyone, and it will be just as good.

Visit your dentist or take a good look at your teeth and find the dental floss that suits you the best; once you’ve done that, it’s action time.

2. Floss your teeth in 5 steps! 

Ok, let’s answer the question that probably makes you the most curious: should I floss before or after brushing my teeth?

Well, some might already have their own routine, but dentists recommend to floss first and then brush your teeth. If you do it after, all the bacteria and food remainings will stay on your mouth until you brush your teeth again.

So, by doing it before, you’ll be able to get rid of as much plaque as possible.

Once you are aware of that, you can begin:

Step 1

Pull out and cut out about 18 to 24 inches of floss from the reel.

Step 2

Wrap the ends around both your index fingers, whatever feels more comfortable to you. When wrapping it around, you should leave from 2 to 6 inches in between to clean your teeth. Make sure to stretch the floss so it is not loose.

Step 3

Gently place the dental floss in between your teeth. You can try making an up and down motion to get all the way to your gums. Avoid any gliding or sawing as it can hurt you. 

Step 4

Once you reach your gums, flex the floss at the base in a C shape, this will allow the floss to get to the space between the gums and tooth.

Step 5 

Move the floss up and down to get rid of plaque. Repeat the process for all teeth and gaps in your mouth with the same piece of floss. Once you finish, you can dispose of the floss.

3 Tips to Floss With Braces

Flossing should take about 10 to 15 minutes of your time. But if you have braces, it can be just a little more time-consuming as it requires more care and precision to reach all the areas. If you have braces, these are some recommendations we can give you:

  • Make sure you use a mirror. This way, you will be able to see where the floss is going and be more careful in certain places.
  • Try getting waxed dental tape or super floss. These are better suited to your mouth and will make the job easier.
  • Use a water flosser. The most common is the Waterpik, which will function great to reach hard places and get your teeth as clean as possible.

Remember, it’s never too late to learn new things and take care of your oral health. It’s not something that many people pay the necessary attention to because they are most likely used to doing things in a certain way.

However, you can always break those habits for better ones before it leads to something more severe and harder to deal with.

The best way to avoid going to the dentist for extensive dental treatments is to prevent diseases with a hygiene routine. Simple as that!

If you want a professional’s opinion to guide you better on how to floss, get in touch with a dentist in Tijuana and set up an appointment for a dental check-up.

They will instruct you on the best ways to take care of your teeth and any other dental conditions. Don’t let your beautiful smile go to waste, and start making it better!

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