Scottsdale Dentist: How to Properly Floss

In a great daily dental routine, you should include the act of flossing to fully cleanse and combat bacteria from causing tooth decay. Our dental hygienist, Melissa, has a great explanation on how to floss properly. Flossing does require technique, so here are three quick tips to help your flossing experience be efficient and effective.

  1. Regardless of what type of floss you’re using – single use picks, traditional floss, or a water flosser, always be conscious of where your floss or device is. The goal of flossing is to reach areas that your toothbrush cannot – in between teeth, behind teeth, and any spaces that could harbor food debris or bacteria.
  2. Proper flossing consists of a “hugging” motion, not an “up-and-down” motion. When you’re flossing, only focusing the motion upwards and downwards may miss over 50% of the food/bacteria that you’re trying to reach. When in between two teeth, try to focus on each tooth that you’re in between. For example, give each side of the teeth you’re in between a hug with the floss. (This means paying attention to the frontal side of one tooth and the back of another individually). By “hugging” one tooth at a time, like a “c” motion along it’s contacts, you will maximize your efficiency in flossing, effectively cleaning between your teeth.
  3. Try to make it a habit! Flossing is best when you do it more than once every once in a while. Immediate perks would be the look of a fresher, whiter smile over time.