Floss Easy: The Ten-Step Guide

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Dental floss is one of the most underrated inventions of our age. It goes where no toothbrush has gone before. A toothbrush can only reach so far.

As you clean your teeth, you try to reach into the gaps with the bristles of a toothbrush. But no matter how hard you try, you never remove all the plaque and food particles that hide there. That is why floss was invented. It is slim enough to slip into the tightest of spaces.

With the right flossing technique, you can add years and years to the life of your teeth. Here is how to floss your teeth like a dental professional.

How to properly floss

1. Choose the right kind of floss. People with tightly-packed teeth need extra thin floss. People with tender or sensitive gums should avoid wax floss and opt for satin. And those who are hopeless with their hands can choose floss that comes with a flossing aid.

The dentist is always happy to recommend a brand of dental floss that is both safe and suited to each person’s needs.

2. Take about 18 inches of floss and wind almost all of it around one forefinger. Wrap the rest of the floss around the other forefinger. The finger that has less floss will be used to put away the used part of the floss.

3. Pull the floss taut and gently slip it between the teeth in a sideways sawing motion. To avoid injury, the floss should never be abruptly pulled to the gum.

4. When the floss reaches the gum, curve it into a C-shape so that it hugs one tooth.

5. Pull the floss tightly and slide it up and down the side of the tooth. When sliding the floss up the tooth, it should reach just below the gum.

6. Pull the floss so that it hugs the neighboring tooth and slide the floss along its side.

7. Slide the floss out of the teeth and wrap the used portion of floss around the finger with less floss. Unwind clean floss from the other finger. This will expose a clean, unused section of floss that will be used to clean the next teeth.

8. Repeat steps two through seven for all of the teeth. To avoid skipping a tooth, work clockwise (anticlockwise for lefties) starting with the upper molars on one side and finishing on the lower molars on the opposite side.

9. Floss is not reusable, toss it in the bin

10. After flossing, brush the teeth and rinse the mouth with mouthwash. The mouthwash is optional.

Floss the right way for amazing results

You can floss your teeth before or after brushing them; there is no set rule. But it is always nice to finish the dental routine with the taste of mint in your mouth.

You should always floss your teeth when you have the time and energy to do a good job. Done right, flossing will keep your teeth pearly white and healthy until the archaeologists find you millennia from now.

Flossing is important, but it is no substitute for brushing your teeth, eating well and making regular visits to the dentist. Oral hygiene is all these things put together.

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