What's The Proper Way to Floss?
Question:What's the correct way to floss -- and do I really have to do it every day?
Yes, you really do have to floss your teeth... every day! You may feel like you're getting your mouth clean by brushing alone, but the truth is you simply can't access the tight spaces in between your teeth without flossing. And it's in those spaces where food particles and bacteria get trapped, causing cavities and gum disease.
Not only do you need to floss every day, but you should be sure you're doing it the correct way. First, take a piece of floss about 18 inches long and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving an inch or two of space in the middle. Then gently glide the floss back and forth in between your teeth, making your way up to your gums. Resist using a snapping motion, which can hurt your gums.
Move the floss up and down gently, and then angle it to one side at the top of the tooth so it hugs the gum line. Repeat with the opposite side of the tooth. Before moving on to the next tooth, reposition the floss so you have a fresh piece. When you're finished, be sure to rinse with water or mouthwash to flush away any loosened food particles and bacteria.