Flossing is an essential part of any oral health care routine. It helps remove plaque from between your teeth, in areas that the toothbrush can’t reach, and it helps prevent gum disease and dental decay. Plaque that is not removed with thorough daily brushing and cleaning between teeth can eventually harden into calculus or tartar.
- Break off about 18 to 24 inches of dental floss. To hold the floss correctly, wind most of the floss around both of your middle fingers. Leave only about 1 to 2 inches of floss for your teeth.
- Next, hold the floss taut with your thumbs and index fingers.
- Place the dental floss in between two teeth. Gently glide the floss up and down, rubbing it against both sides of each tooth. Don’t glide the floss into your gums. This can scratch or bruise your gums.
- As the floss reaches your gums, curve the floss at the base of the tooth to form a C shape. This allows the floss to enter the space between your gums and your tooth.
- Repeat the steps as you move from tooth to tooth. With each tooth, use a new, clean section of floss.
Flossing instructions for braces
- Break off about 18 to 24 inches of waxed dental floss.
- Stand in front of a mirror so you can make sure the floss is going where you need it to.
- Start by threading the floss between your teeth and the main wire. Twist the loose ends of the floss around your index fingers so you can move the floss around easily.
- Press the floss between the two teeth as gently as you can. Then, move the floss up and down along the sides of both teeth.
- When working on your top teeth, try to make an upside-down U with the floss. To do this, go up the side of one tooth until you get to the gumline. Then, glide the floss down the side of the other tooth.
- Gently remove the floss and carefully unthread it from behind the wire. Avoid popping the floss out of your tooth, as you could dislodge a wire.
- Now, move on to the next two teeth, and use the same technique until you’ve flossed between all your teeth.
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