Are you flossing correctly?

Are you flossing correctly?

Flossing is a very important part of the daily care routine for your teeth and gums. It allows you to clean in between your teeth and under your gums where toothbrush bristles cant clean. When I say floss, I don’t mean just snap the floss down and out. You can hurt your gums and are missing cleaning below the gum line if this is a habit.

The proper way to floss is to gently press a section of floss between the teeth. Then wrap the floss like a “C” around the side of one tooth. Slide the floss down under the gum line just until it stops; this should not hurt. Next, wrap the floss around  the next tooth and repeat the process.

Repeat for all teeth, even on the back side of the very last tooth. Also, make sure to move to a new section of floss every couple of teeth to prevent the spread of bacteria. If you aren’t in the habit of flossing regularly, your gums will bleed and may hurt for the first week or two after you start.

For some it is hard to get fingers in the mouth or difficult to maneuver the floss. For these people it is ok to use a “U” or “Y” shaped flosser, like the Reach flosser. I would just caution that with these tools, you should still be very gentle and press or push against one side of each tooth to help get the floss below the gums. It won't go as far as regular floss, but it still is a very effective tool.

If you have any more questions about flossing, do not hesitate to contact our office at 206-523-6520 or visit our website at!