What to Use and How to Floss

There is a joke that makes the rounds on the internet about dentists hassling patients about flossing their teeth. We only want to make sure you clear out those tight spaces between your teeth! Any time bacteria collects, it causes damage. The tight spaces between teeth can be difficult to clean with a tooth brush, but flossing gets into those spaces and clears out plaque and bacteria. We’ll lay out some dental floss tips to help your hygiene game.

Dental Floss Tips

If you’re unsure of how best to utilize floss, we’ll give you a step by step guide.

  • First, you want to cut a strip of floss about 18 inches long. Wrap a small amount around one middle finger and the rest around your other middle finger, leaving about two inches between them.
  • Gently wrap this section of floss around a tooth.
  • Slide the floss up and down in a gentle sawing motion.
  • Switch to a clean section of floss after each tooth.

Continue following this pattern for each tooth. Be careful not to force floss anywhere, as you could cut or bruise your gums.

Types of Floss and Other Methods

There are two types of floss: multifilament and monofilament. Multifilament floss, commonly called nylon floss, is made from several strands of nylon. The floss may or may not be waxed and comes in different flavors.

Inexpensive nylon floss may be the most commonly used floss. However, it is prone to shredding when caught between teeth. Consequently, the stuck piece of floss can be uncomfortable.

Monofilament, or PTFE, floss is more expensive, but the single strand won’t shred. It also slides more easily between teeth.

Even still, there are some who feel like flossing is difficult to master. Depending on the size and shape of your mouth, you may have trouble looping floss around your pearly whites to clean them. Fortunately, floss picks and brush picks help.

Floss picks suspend a string of floss between a couple plastic prongs. They give the appearance of a tiny slingshot. Brush picks look like toothpicks with a bristled head. These are also excellent methods for cleaning between teeth, and many patients find the easier to use.

In conclusion, pick the type of floss that works best for you. The most important matter is  keeping teeth clean.