Many people see flossing as an “optional” step, but you should be flossing at least as often as you brush. You may find water piks to be a useful alternative instead of traditional flossing.
Why Do I Need To Floss?
What Does Flossing Do?
Flossing has many benefits:
- Removes food particles stuck between teeth.
- Will reach places a toothbrush can’t.
- Can remove food you can’t see.
How Do I Floss?
- For traditional floss, break off up to 24 inches (two feet) of dental floss.
- Pinch the floss between your thumb and forefingers.
- Thread the floss between your teeth and move it up and down.
- Touch the side of each tooth and the gum with the floss.
- Use a clean section of floss for each new tooth.
How Do I Floss With Braces or A Dental Bridge?
- For specialty floss, break off up to 24 inches.
- Take the waxed, stiff end, and gently thread it between the braces.
- Move it back and forth a few times.
- Pull it out and repeat for every new tooth.
Are there different Types Of Dental Floss?
- Standard floss: A thin strand of nylon with no special properties. It comes flavored or unflavored, as well as waxed, or unwaxed. This is generally the floss most people will start with.
- Dental tape: A wider flatter version of dental floss. Useful for wider gaps between the teeth.
- Supper floss: Each piece of floss will have a harder, stiffer end to it to make it ideal for fitting between dental appliances. These will be precut, and will often be more expensive than regular floss.
- Dental picks: These devices usually consist of a disposable handle that has a small section of floss to use for your teeth. They may also have one end for flossing, and one end for “picking”.
How Often Should You Floss?
Should I Brush Or Floss First?
Can I Floss Too Much?
How To Use A Waterpik?
To clean your teeth with a waterpik do the following:
- Fill the reservoir with a solution of water and mouthwash.
- Plug in the device and turn it on.
- Adjust the pressure, if that is an option.
- Aim the nozzle at the gum line in between the teeth.
- Pause briefly between each tooth.
- Turn off the device and put everything away.
Waterpiks may not be as effective as flossing for removing food particles, but they can help clean parts of the mouth that you may have missed.
Oral Health Best Practices
- Floss for 1-2 minutes
- Brush for 1-2 minutes
- Rinse your mouth with mouthwash
- Schedule regular dental checkups