Brushing twice a day or after every meal is commendable but it might not be enough if you are not flossing. Gum disease often starts between the teeth and at the gum line so flossing can help to remove plaque that is notorious for causing gum disease. A toothbrush is not able to effectively rich these areas where plaque may accumulate over time.
The trick therefore isn't simply to floss every day but to do it properly.
The first step is to wash your hands thoroughly since they'll be going in your mouth.
Step 1: Wind the Floss
Start with about 18 inches of dental floss, winding a large potion around the middle finger of one hand (whichever you prefer). Repeat the same on the other hand, making sure to wind the floss on the same finger on each hand.
Step 2: Hold the Floss
Use the thumb and forefinger of each hand to hold the floss. Make sure to hold tight.
Step 3: Insert the Floss in Your Teeth
With a gentle rubbing motion, guide the floss slowly in between the teeth. Do not snap or jerk the floss into place because this can injure your gums.
Step 4: Begin Flossing
Once the floss is at the gum line, make a C-shaped curve, placing the floss against the first tooth. Slide the dental floss gently between the tooth and the gum. Use up and down motions, rubbing gently against the side of the tooth. Repeat the process with each tooth not forgetting the back side of each of the last teeth. Use a clean area of for each tooth as you go along.
Different Types of Dental Floss
There are a few varieties of dental floss and a brief look at each type may help you choose the best one for you.
Un-waxed Floss: is made from thin nylon yarn. 35 strands are twisted together to make the floss strong. Although this type of floss is particularly good for closely spaced teeth, it is prone to fraying and breaking than waxed floss.
Waxed Floss: is coated with a thin layer of wax. It is less susceptible to fraying and breaking than the former but may be difficult to insert in tight spaces and closely spaced teeth.
Polytetrafluoroethylene Floss: is made from a similar fiber found in high-tech rain gear. It is good for cleaning closely spaced teeth and around the gums.
Dental Tape: is available in waxed and un-waxed varieties. It is flatter and broader than your traditional floss. Works better than traditional floss but may be difficult to use on closely spaced teeth.
Your dentist can recommend the best type of dental floss and possibly a brand that works best for your particular set of teeth and flossing requirements. Speak to your dentist about proper flossing the next time you go in for a dental checkup.