There’s been some stories lately in the news that suggest flossing isn’t necessary. We disagree. The major dental and periodontal associations disagree, too. The most important aspect of your flossing habits is that you do it correctly. Flossing, done correctly, should remove the plaque build-up from your tooth below your gum line and between your teeth, where brushing won’t reach. It should also be a relatively gentle activity that doesn’t cause much pain. Let’s break down the technique for flossing into steps.
Grab a Long Piece of Floss
For easy flossing, your string of floss should be about 18 inches long. Wrap each end of floss around a finger on each hand, so that you can angle the floss.
Start Off Easy
The goal of flossing is to remove the soft layer plaque between your teeth and just under your gum line. There’s no need to apply a lot of pressure to your tooth to do this. The plaque should slough off easily.
Floss Your Tooth, Not Your Gums
Also, keep in mind that you should be flossing your teeth, not your gums. So, keep the pressure on the tooth. When you pass the gum line, it should be a gentle motion. You’re not trying to tear the gums. The goal, if you remember, is to remove plaque from the tooth.
Finish Off Quickly
There’s no need to scrape away endlessly when you floss. Most of what you need to remove will come away after one or two passes. Plaque is softer than it sounds, so give it a quick rub, and move along.
Go Side to Side
Make sure to take care of each side of each tooth gap by going side to side. Make sure to ask your dentist if you have any questions about flossing techniques.