How to Floss Properly
Take a look at this video from Dr. Ron Briglia on how to floss properly and why flossing is so important to your oral health. There is a transcription of this video below. We hope that you find these tips useful.
Why Flossing is So Important
In this video we’re going to talk about flossing and the technique of flossing. We won’t go in depth on gum disease and periodontal disease. That’s covered online in a lot of our blogs on our website. The reason flossing is so important is that, if you brush and floss one good time a day and have no bleeding after you floss, that’s more effective long term, than brushing 20 times a day and never flossing.
The reason it’s so important to floss is that, when you brush your teeth you’re only getting 70 to 80 percent of the bacteria, plaque and food out between your teeth. That other 20 to 30 percent, over time, if it’s not flossed out will cause chronic inflammation and the toxins will start to dissolve the bone or eat the bone away between your teeth. The sad thing is, it all happens without you even having any pain or feeling it.
Healthy gums don’t bleed. If you start to floss and you see your gums are bleeding or there’s blood on the floss, your gums are not as healthy as they could be. In a few minutes we’re going to demo flossing, to show you exactly how it should be done. What I like to do is have our patients take about 2 feet of floss. It might seem like a lot, but here’s the reason why.
How to Floss
Take the floss both ends at the end of the floss and it doubles the floss. If you’re going to be flossing, doubling the floss increases the cleaning area 100 percent. If you’re right handed, you take the floss in your right hand and around the middle notch of your left hand what you do is, you wind your floss clockwise. You don’t wind it too tight to turn to your finger purple.
This is your storehouse for right handers and it would just be the opposite for a left hander. You’re wrapping most of the floss around that middle finger. Then on your right hand, the same spot, middle finger on the left, you go counterclockwise about three or four times until the floss is around so it’s not flopping around and both ends are contained.
When you floss, the reason you wrap the floss around your middle fingers is that, when you get in that a proper position, it’s your longest fingers on your hand to get back far. Here’s what you do. With your index fingers you grab the floss and then your two middle fingers you make a tightrope. Again, the floss about 12 inches or so, with your index fingers you grab the floss, then your two middle fingers make a tightrope.
Now with the tightrope what you do is put the floss, get it through your contact area and wrap it around like a C shape when you’re flossing around the tooth. Then this little tissue you pop it over the gum tissue to clean it adjacent to the head of it.
Here’s how to floss the back teeth. Taking the floss as we demonstrated, index fingers grabs the floss, two middle fingers make a tightrope and now I’m going to be able to get it all the back to last tooth in the mouth, upper and lower.
That’s the technique of flossing. It helps to start in one area first, say the upper left. Work your way around to the right, then drop down in the right, all the way to the left. It takes time to get the dexterity. I recommend using a mirror during your first flossing and you’ll get to the point where you will be able to floss watching TV.
Using Other Flossing Products
As I mentioned before, it’s done once every 24 hours and it doesn’t have to be late at night. It could be done anytime during the day. There are some products that work pretty well. I’m sure everyone has seen Floss Picks. The only problem with these is, it’s one strand and a lot of times when you’re trying to get it in there, it does wrap around the tooth like you can do with your two hands.
A lot of times it gets stuck and breaks and it’s much easier to go through to floss with a regular floss. However, for our patients who just find it really too hard to floss or don’t have the dexterity, there’s another product called brushpricks. What these are, they’re similar to toothpicks. You can see there a little tough plastic and what it does is better flossing.
If you’re able to have the discipline to get to the point where you’re flossing once a day or even once every other day and have no bleeding when you floss, you’ve really reduced your chance of gum disease, you will keep your teeth healthier, have fresher breath and easier dental cleanings. Thank you for watching. I hope these tips were helpful.