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The Ultimate Guide for Flossing Your Teeth

The Ultimate Guide for Flossing Your Teeth


Woman flossing teeth smiling using dental flush. Happy girl with perfect teeth and toothy smile. Dental care portrait of beautiful multiracial Asian Caucasian female isolated on white background, 20s.

You probably already know about traditional string floss. But do you know if you are using it correctly? People have been flossing for years. But Los Angeles dentist Dr. Shervin Louie of Smile in LA says many patients are surprised to hear that they have been flossing the wrong way the entire time. There really is a wrong and right way to floss your teeth. Also, there are more tools for flossing available to you than you may think.

In addition to string floss, floss picks, water flosser, and interdental floss brushes are available to you in your local store! Each tool has it’s advantages and when used together can really optimize your oral health.

Below Dr. Louie provides you with ultimate guide to flossing. You can learn about proper flossing techniques as well as discover what tools are best to use in your oral care routine.


String Floss

String flossing is the most traditional tried-and-true technique to flossing that most individuals practice at home. If you notice light traces of blood on your floss or notice a bit of blood after flossing while brushing your teeth, you may be flossing to hard. Do your best to avoid forcing floss in between teeth. It can snap through all the way up to your gums and cause slight tissue damage. This tissue damage will cause gum sensitivity as well as cause light gum bleeding.

Use the visual below to see the proper technique that should be used while flossing with traditional string floss:

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Floss Picks

Floss picks are essentially toothpicks with a strand of floss at the opposite end. They are used to floss in between teeth as well as pick food out that may get stuck behind wire braces. Since you can’t wrap your finger around the floss on a floss pick, you want to pay attention to how you floss. Do your best to avoid forcing the floss through your teeth. The best technique to use to gentle glide the floss upward back and forth until the floss is able to fit between your teeth comfortably. Guide the floss to rub up along the curvature of teeth along the top all the way until you pull it out repeating the process with each tooth.


Water Flosser

There is a long list of benefits that a water flosser can provide you. Water flossers are able to clean deeper into gum pockets than traditional floss reducing your chances of developing periodontal (gum) disease or gingivitis. This makes it especially beneficial for those who suffer from diabetes who are at greater risk for gum disease and gingival inflammation. Those who floss too hard and as a result suffer from light gum bleeding can also greatly benefit from using a water flosser. A water flosser can also greatly assist those with orthodontic appliances! Especially those with braces who struggle flossing around their wire framing. The way a water flosser works is that it utilizes water pressure to essentially blast away plaque and stuck on food.


Interdental Brushes

Many people have implemented flossing into their oral health routine, but not enough people have integrated interproximal plaque removal as a part of their oral hygiene habits. Interdental brushes remove plaque that builds in between larger gaps of teeth. Gaps that are too wide for thin traditional floss to clean. Interdental brushes really do combine the best of both worlds – flossing and brushing! To use an interdental brush, you want to first figure out what size brush you need. Do your best to avoid forcing larger interdental brushes into tight places. Never force the interdental brush into your gums. It will cause damage and possible bleeding of gums. The bigger the gap you are trying to clean, then the wider or thicker the interdental brush needed will be. Once you have figured out what size you need, you then simply place the interdental brush in between the gap and slide it back and forth to in a sense brush the sides of the tooth clean removing plaque as you move along. Los Angeles dentist Dr. Louie also advises to invest in an interdental brush that can bend at a 90 degree angle to reach those tough bicuspids and molars.


Utilizing these techniques while flossing every morning and night can greatly benefit your oral hygiene. Be sure to maintain a healthy smile by scheduling your next routine dental visit with Los Angeles dentist Dr. Shervin Louie of Smile in LA. Don’t forget to share this blog post with friends and family to ensure everyone’s oral health is in good standing.