At La Mesa Hills Dentistry, we encourage our clients to practice a good daily oral healthcare routine by brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing once daily. It’s the best thing you can do to take care of your mouth! But many people wonder about the correct way to floss, and our clients frequently ask for advice on best flossing techniques and practices. Our team at LMHD is always happy to answer your questions, and we encourage you to reach out to us anytime at (619) 469-2902. In this blog, we discuss proper flossing techniques, and share with you our favorite flossing tips. 

Flossing your teeth is the most effective way to clean the spaces between the teeth and along the gum line, and proper flossing technique is important for getting this job done right. The goal of flossing is to clean the tight spaces between the teeth, removing the plaque that can form in these places. Plaque contains bacteria that feeds on leftover food or sugar in your mouth, releasing an acid that eats away at the outer coating of your teeth, and creating the conditions for cavities to form. Plaque that is not removed by flossing and adequate brushing can eventually harden into a rough substance called tartar (also called calculus), which collects along the gum line and can eventually lead to gum disease. 

Proper flossing will prevent (or significantly slow down) the formation of plaque and tartar on the teeth. This is important because once tartar forms, only your dental team can remove it. Daily flossing is the number one thing you can do to prevent plaque and tartar from forming, which also helps to prevent cavities and gum disease. 

If you have questions about proper flossing techniques, you are not alone! When our clients ask us for flossing tips, we are always happy to share our best practices. Here are La Mesa Hills Dentistry’s favorite flossing tips: 

★ Start with about 18 inches of floss, winding the majority of it around one of your middle fingers. Then, wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand – this finger will take up the floss as it is used. 

★ Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers. 

★ Gently guide the floss into the space between the gum and the tooth.

★ Once the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. 

★ Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Using a gentle rubbing motion, gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. (*Remember – always avoid snapping the floss into the gums)

★ Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Make sure to remember the back side of your last tooth!

The American Dental Association recommends flossing your teeth daily, and at La Mesa Hills Dentistry we encourage daily flossing as an important part of a good oral health routine. With proper flossing, you can help your mouth fight plaque and tartar, and prevent cavities and gum disease. We hope these tips are helpful to you, but if you still have questions about proper flossing techniques, please speak to our team at your next teeth-cleaning appointment, or give us a call anytime at (619) 469-2902. At La Mesa Hills Dentistry of La Mesa, California, we want to help you maintain optimal health in your mouth. Click here to book an appointment today!