How To Know If You Are Flossing Correctly

There has been a lot of controversy over the past few years on the importance of flossing. But every dentist and hygienist knows how crucial it is to your oral health. And there is no shortage of studies linking poor oral health to overall health, including heart disease, neural disorders and many types of cancers. With that being said, how can you be sure you are doing it competently? There are some things to consider when flossing that can answer that for you.

When You Floss

To begin with, you should floss before you brush. This releases the plaque from the teeth so that when you follow up with brushing, you are more effectively removing the loosened plaque. Otherwise, you essentially leave the debris hanging around in your mouth until your next brushing!

How Long You Floss

If it only takes you a minute to floss, you are probably not doing it correctly. To ensure you are addressing every tooth it should take about five minutes. When you are first beginning your flossing routine, it may take longer, but once you become experienced and comfortable you should be able to do it thoroughly in five minutes.

How Much Floss You Use

You might not have thought about this one, but you should be using about 15-18 inches of floss at each session. The American Dental Association recommends 18 inches. You need to use a fresh section of floss after cleaning each side of the tooth to avoid distributing plaque around your mouth. Flossing picks should only be used when needed for convenience and not recommended for daily flossing.

Your Gums Shouldn’t Bleed When You Floss

When done properly and regularly, flossing shouldn’t cause your gums to bleed. Other than seeing a little blood initially if it’s been a while, proper technique is designed to remove plaque from the sides of teeth and not to torture the gum tissue! It should be a gentle motion moving it up and down along the sides of each tooth. The aim is to clean the areas a toothbrush can miss, not just pulling the floss back and forth and irritating the gumline.

Unlike brushing, flossing only needs be done once a day, but it needs to be done correctly to achieve its goal. At C R Dental Group located in Dallas, Texas, Dr. Reisman and Dr. Contrucci, and the staff of highly qualified hygienists, stress the importance of daily flossing. They know it’s an integral part of your oral care routine. They also remind you of the value of seeing your dentist and hygienist as recommended to achieve and maintain optimum oral health, and ultimately, overall health.