By now, you know that flossing should be just as much a part of your routine as brushing your teeth. In fact, no matter how much you brush, you can’t possibly get into all the nooks and crannies where food collects and can ultimately cause decay – unless you floss regularly. So you’ve become an avid flosser, which is great! But there’s something you should know.
Flossing should be done a certain way, and most people are doing it wrong.
So How Do You Floss the Right Way?
Proper flossing involves four steps. You’ll probably be feeling pretty good about yourself until Step 3, unless you’re already a flossing aficionado and you’ve nailed this process.
- Wrap the floss around your middle fingers. This leaves your thumbs and forefingers free to move the floss around.
- Push the floss (gently!) between two teeth and use a sort of sawing motion until the floss pops through the contact point between the teeth (where they touch each other).
- Now, wrap one side of one tooth with the floss. Slide the floss up and down several times, making sure you go under the gumline. Repeat on the other tooth.
- Pull the floss out and turn it so that you’re using a clean space for the next set of teeth.
Don’t stop just because your gums are bleeding! It’s a sign of bacteria that is now causing your gums to be inflamed. Keep flossing once a day, and you’ll probably see reduced (or nonexistent) bleeding fairly soon.
If your teeth are set up so that it’s really hard to floss, try something like a floss pick, which can help you get in there (even though you can’t wrap the tooth this way). It’s not quite as good as regular floss, but it’s better than nothing for people with problematic teeth.
There’s also super floss for those who have large spaces between their teeth – a fuzzy portion of the floss cleans these spaces out easily!
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