The standard toothbrush can only clean the surfaces of the teeth–mainly the front, back, and tops of the teeth. The spaces between the teeth usually aren’t cleaned up by the brush, however. The teeth are tightly packed together, for example, preventing penetration of the toothbrush.

It makes these spaces an ideal hideout for bacteria, which feed on the food particles that remain lodged there. Regular dental flossing is the most effective way to clean those hard-to-reach areas between your teeth.

Many people don’t know how to floss properly, however.

Here’s a guide on how to floss like a professional.

Choose The Right Dental Floss

The first step to flossing well is to understand the different types of floss and choose the most effective one for your teeth type. If your teeth are tightly packed together, for example, a floss coated with wax would be an ideal option for you.

You may go for flavored waxed floss or an unflavored type depending on your personal preference. The wax makes it easy for the floss to glide through the areas you want to clean without becoming stuck.

Cut the Preferred Length of Floss

Break off a piece of dental floss that is 18 to 24 inches long. Wrap the floss around your middle finger and thumb or your two index fingers. Choose the fingers that feel most comfortable for you.

Guide The Floss Between Your Teeth

You want to deliberately target every space in between your teeth to ensure that any plaque or debris is dislodged. Be sure to use a different segment of the floss as you move from one tooth to another. Using the same section of floss in between all teeth can promote the spread of plaque from one tooth to another.

Be careful not to scrape the floss against your gums, either; otherwise, you may suffer gum irritation. You can avoid this problem by holding the floss tightly against each tooth and making a C-curve to jump to the next tooth before you reach the gum line. You’ll clean the entire tooth without scratching your gums.

 

Proper dental hygiene is made possible with consistent flossing. If you experience any unusual discomfort while flossing, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist.