Flossing 101: How to Floss Properly


Every time a dentist sees you, they ask the same thing. “Have you been flossing?”

Why bother asking? As soon as you open your mouth, your dentist can tell what the answer to that question is. Even if they don’t continue questioning you, your teeth and gums tell the whole story.

brooklyn cosmetic dentistMost people don’t know how to floss properly and, when done incorrectly, flossing can be painful and unproductive. Here’s what you need to know–Flossing 101.

What tools do I use?

Do you have to cut off the circulation in your fingers with fiddly thin floss from a carton? The answer may surprise you: No!  Dentists agree that the newer plastic style flossers with a grip do just as good a job and, by offering more convenience, encourage people to floss more regularly.

How often should I be flossing?

The old myth of ‘twice a day’, or even ‘after ever meal’ led many patients to become overwhelmed, or to feel like a failure if they couldn’t maintain the demanded frequency. Newer research suggests that once a day, every day, is all that is needed to maintain excellent oral health. Make flossing part of your routine after you’ve eaten for the last time of the day: brush first, then floss, then use mouthwash.

Am I doing this right?

The goal of flossing is to remove plaque from the sides of your teeth, where a brush cannot reach. That means you need to use the floss more along the outline of the tooth. Whipping or pulling the floss roughly against your gums can irritate the area and is painful!

Flossing is just one way to keep your smile looking fantastic. At Modern Dentistry of Brooklyn, we offer a full line of options for cosmetic dentistry. We are also a workers compensation dentist and would be happy to review your case. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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