Keeping proper dental practices includes brushing at least twice a day and flossing after you eat. Flossing is extremely important since it can remove food that can get stuck between your teeth. If you do floss regularly but still have problems with your gums, then you may not be doing the job right.
Here are five tips to make sure when you floss that you are doing it correctly.
1. Use the right amount of dental floss. A lot of people do not use enough dental floss. Typically the recommended amount of floss should be between 18 and 20 inches long. This allows plenty of length to wrap around your fingers and give you greater control over your movements.
2. Slide the floss through your teeth. Make sure you slide the floss gently back and forth through your teeth while flossing. Many people make the mistake of just popping the floss between two teeth and popping it back out. Not only is this ineffective, but it can irritate your gums as well. By sliding the floss, you can make sure you can get all of that hard-to-reach gunk out of your mouth.
3. Get between all of you teeth. Sliding your floss through each of your teeth is the correct method; however, you also want to make sure you are getting all of the food particles out of your gums. By cupping the floss by each tooth you can ensure you are getting everything out. This includes the hard-to-reach teeth in the back of your mouth!
4. Don’t use the same part of the floss more than once. Once you use part of your floss to clean between teeth, do not use it again on another section. Every time you floss, you release bacteria and particles. If you use the same portion of the floss, you will just be transporting the bacteria. Use a new section of the floss every time you go between another tooth. This is where having 18–20 inches of floss comes in handy.
5. Rinse your mouth. Flossing correctly will loosen all the food particles between your gums and teeth. Some may be left over in your mouth, so make sure your rinse your mouth completely with water or mouthwash when you are done.