Even with a full carton of dental floss resting on your bathroom sink counter top, the act of flossing is oftentimes seen as a painstakingly time consuming endeavor. Because of the extra few seconds required to floss, many people unfortunately and (sometimes) intentionally neglect to integrate flossing into their daily oral hygiene routine. Where mouthwash and tooth paste leave off, regular flossing has proven to be one of the most effective ways to reach deep into those hard-to-get places of your teeth, and remove the food remnants from a hearty feast.

Beyond its inherent ability to remove leftover food, flossing also plays a critical roll in helping to prevent such dental problems as tooth decay, cavities, bad breath, plaque, and gingivitis. It is these very dental problems that, if left unattended to for years, can lend to premature teeth loss in anyone. While you learn from this Info Barrel article how to take such proactive measures to teeth care as properly flossing your teeth, also be sure to limit your consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, and sweet foods. Over time, these particular activities can lead to wearing away of your enamel, as well as, the overall deterioration of your teeth. If left to their own devices, the functionality of your teeth may also suffer as they gradually succumb to intense sensitivity or become very weak and brittle.

Things You Will Need

Dental Floss

Step 1

In the first step of this Info Barrel article, you will want to remove any doubts regarding the effectiveness of dental flossing. While many people may choose not to floss for a variety reasons, some of the more common reasons include the fact that they believe doing it won't be any more effective than using mouth wash and tooth paste. With this in mind, they stay away from flossing because of just how time consuming they perceive it to be. Excuses become abundant, and, ultimately, your teeth wont be quite as clean as they could be had you decided to fully integrate dental flossing into your daily oral hygeine.

Step 2

In a society that has come to generally accept blood flow as a negative occurrence after something horrifically bad has happened to someone, with dental flossing the appearance of blood really has quite an opposite meaning. Your gum's unfamiliarity with dental floss, had you not engaged in a strict routine of flossing prior to beginning, may cause them to naturally bleed as a general reaction. Because of the natural propensity of the human body to bleed while taking blood thinners, it is generally recommended that people who are on such medications as Warfarin (Coumadin) refrain from dental flossing entirely.

Before even beginning to floss, you should be aware that the appearance of blood may occur regardless of how gentle you floss. With time and continued dental flossing your teeth will naturally become accustomed to your new-found oral hygiene routine. In reaction, your gums will toughen up and will become less inclined to bleed profusely. If you do bleed while flossing, be sure to lean your head forward over your faucet so that you do not swallow your own blood. While this occurrence won't necessarily hurt you, aspiration could occur in which your swallowed blood could go down the "wrong hole" (to your lungs).

Step 3

Great debate has been had over whether or not it is best to floss your teeth before or after brushing your teeth. The same debate has been had with regards to mouth washing and how it best relates to the previously mentioned important aspects of any dental hygiene routine. Those who say that you should brush before flossing your teeth believe that you should do so because brushing helps remove the large amounts of food and grime first. Advocates for flossing your teeth first believe essentially the same thing, with mouthwash being used lastly in order to introduce a fluid into the mouth that, when swished around, will expel any remaining food particles. Regardless of when, in your routine, you actually floss doesn't have quite as much of a bearing as compared to whether you choose to do it at all. Just by simply doing it it will your contribute to and significantly benefit your overall dental health.

Step 4

Any dental floss that you purchase will work, however, you may want to consider trying out a few different kinds before making a determination. Once again, the actual type of dental floss to use is also a topic of hot debate. Teflon based dental floss, like Glide or Oral B Satin, many believe slide between tight teeth quite seamlessly. If your teeth are very tight together, you may find one of those options to be the most preferable. While typically lesser in price, many people believe that using a more traditionally coarse dental floss is the best way to go because they perceive it to be a bit more 'unforgiving' when it comes to removing food particles. With regard to the type of dental floss you ultimately decide to use, you should simply use what you are comfortable with. Either type will work, and the fact that you are doing it in the first place is something that few people can boast of.

Step 5

By grasping your dental floss pouch or packet in your non-dominant hand, you will proceed to extract roughly a foot of material. Once again, there is no necessary required length standard when it comes to dental floss use. You will simply need to use as much as you need in order to effectively wrap the dental floss around fingers of both your hands.

Step 6

Once you have removed your desired length of dental floss (typically 12" or greater), you will now proceed to wrap it around either your pointer fingers or middle fingers of both hands. The fingers you ultimately decide to use, like many steps in this Info Barrel article, will simply come down to your own comfort and degree of control of the dental floss. Whether you decide to use your index or middle finger, you will also use your thumb (on both hands) in order to guide and maintain control. If you are first beginning to dental floss, this step can be really quite difficult. With time and repetition, however, you body and mind will become conditioned to almost instinctively performing this finger wrapping preparation of your dental flossing routine.

Step 7

When you approach your teeth with your dental floss, you will meet some resistance especially if your teeth or very close together. Gently Pushing past this point of resistance will help you to get deep down to the gum area between each tooth. While some apply a very deliberate and organized methodology when flossing their teeth, others prefer a more sporadic approach. Starting on the right upper back side of your mouth, and proceeding forward, can be a great organized methodology to use. Unfortunately, for those who sporadically floss random teeth, they do inherently run the risk of missing teeth along the way. If you do decide to proceed systematically from back to front, you can do just the top part of teeth first, or you can alternate between the top and bottom teeth on one side, proceeding from your back molars.

Because they are very inclined to cavity formation and tooth decay, do be sure to attack your molars with dental floss during your routine.

Step 8

Rather than making a sawing motion back and forth with your dental floss, you should instead go up and down while gently touching the gum and rubbing the floss against each neighboring tooth.

Step 9

Because dental flossing will naturally loosen up food particles, and perhaps even instigate a degree of gum bleeding, you will want to wash your mouth with either water or mouth wash immediately after. If you do choose to brush your teeth before actually dental flossing, you may also consider just also gently brushing, with or without toothpaste, immediately after flossing, as well.

Tips & Warnings