Flossing your teeth is essential to maintaining a healthy smile. It’s also important to know how to floss your teeth properly. It may be tempting to skip the floss and go straight for the mouth rinse, but there are benefits to flossing. It can help remove stubborn food particles and plaque that brushing can miss and mouthwash just can’t remove, for example.

Here are five tips for getting the most out of your flossing from our dentists at Dynamic Dental Solutions.

#1: Floss Every Time

Flossing every time you brush your teeth is the most important and also the one that many patients don’t like hearing, so we’ll get it out of the way first. Plaque can damage your teeth quickly. Leaving it to sit between your teeth, even for a night or two, can start or continue the process of tooth decay.

#2: Use a “C-shape” Technique

Do you know how to floss your teeth with the C-shape technique? When you wrap the floss around the tooth to create a C-shape, it hugs the curve of your tooth much more closely. It can also give you more control as you rub the floss up and down the tooth’s contour.

#3: Use a Rubbing Motion

Many patients feel that flossing needs to be a rough action to remove anything stuck to the tooth. However, being too harsh can cause your gums to become inflamed and irritated without being any more effective at removing plaque than if you used a gentle rubbing motion. Knowing how to floss your teeth without irritating your gums is essential, but if you aren’t used to doing it regularly, your gums may bleed for the first few days.

#4: Use a Clean Section of Floss for Each Tooth

You want to use about 18” of floss, so you have plenty of length to use a new section each time you move to a new tooth. Doing this prevents one spot from becoming worn and shredding, but it also prevents transferring plaque and food particles from one tooth to another.

#5: Try Dental Flossers or a Water Flosser

Traditional floss is more effective than dental flossers, but they may be an excellent option for you if you have difficulty flossing. They are especially helpful for those with arthritis. A water flosser can also make flossing much more manageable, although it requires a higher initial investment.

Flossing every time you brush can help you maintain your dental health (and smile) for many, many years. If you are unsure of how to floss, be sure to ask your hygienist at your next regular exam to show you proper technique. To schedule one, call Dynamic Dental Solutions today at (281) 837-9090.