Do You Floss?

by | Hints and Tips |

What is the Right Way to Floss?
Proper Flossing removes Plaque  and food particles in places where a toothbrush cannot easily reach — under the gumline and between your teeth. Because Plaque build-up can lead to Tooth Decay and Gum Disease, daily Flossing is highly recommended.

To receive maximum benefits from Flossing, use the following proper technique:

  • Starting with about 18 inches of Floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with
  • Holding the Floss tautly between your Thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your Teeth
  • Gently curve the Floss around the base of each Tooth, making sure you go beneath the gumline. Never snap or force the Floss, as this may cut or bruise delicate Gum tissue
  • Use clean sections of Floss as you move from tooth to tooth
  • To remove the Floss, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the Teeth

Use about 18″ of Floss, leaving an inch or two to work with.

Gently follow the curves of your Teeth

Be sure to clean beneath the gumline, but avoid snapping the Floss on the Gums.


What Type of Floss Should I Use?
There are two types of Floss from which to choose:

  • Nylon (or multifilament) Floss
  • PTFE (monofilament) Floss

Nylon Floss is available waxed and unwaxed, and in a variety of flavors. Because this type of Floss is composed of many strands of nylon, it may sometimes tear or shred, especially between teeth with tight contact points. While more expensive, single filament (PTFE) Floss slides easily between Teeth, even those with tight spaces between Teeth, and is virtually shred-resistant. When used properly, both types of Floss are excellent at removing Plaque and Debris.

What if my Gums bleed?

When you first start Flossing, your Gums may be tender and bleed a little as you start to get rid of any Plaque build-up. Carry on Flossing your Teeth and the bleeding should stop as your gums become healthier.

If you’re still getting regular bleeding after a few days, see your dentist. They can check if you’re Flossing correctly.

What to do if you find Flossing difficult?

If you find holding the floss difficult, you could try using a floss holder (also called floss wands) or Flosser. These hold the floss for you and some people find them helpful. You can buy Flossers from pharmacists (chemists) and supermarkets.

If you find flossing difficult, your dentist can give you advice about other ways of cleaning between your Teeth, such as interdental brushes. Some people find interdental brushes easier to use than Floss.

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About the author Dr Rik Trivedi

Dr Rik Trivedi

Dr Rik Trivedi is the Principal dentist at Parrock Dental & Implant Centres. He has a keen interest in Cosmetic Smile Dentistry and braces, Dental implants, Facial Aesthetics, Prevention and is very experienced in the design and placement of Cerec Same Day Crown technology.