Let's floss some teeth! I'm a dental hygienist and I wasn't flossing correctly until I learned how to PROPERLY floss in dental hygiene school - so I'd like to share my technique with you all :)
When you're not cleaning between your teeth, you are missing 40% of the tooth surface!
1) Hold It Correctly
Start by getting a long piece of floss and wrap it around your middle fingers. The longer the floss, the easier it is to wrap it. Next, make sure you’re holding the string correctly. Wrap it around your middle fingers and try to leave about 2 inches in between your wrapped-in-floss-middle fingers. Once your string is wrapped around your middle fingers, what you want to use to direct the floss is both your thumb and index finger.
2) Do The Correct Motions
You should bring the floss down between two teeth and make sure you’re touching under the contact area. You actually want to be touching your gums, but make sure you’re not popping it straight down into your papilla (the tip of the triangle of gums in between each tooth).
Be sure to hug each tooth and go up and down touching it on each side of the tooth, making sure the floss is going beneath the gumline! The dental floss should actually disappear in the space between the gums and the tooth (the sides of the papilla).
3) Understand The Goal
The goal of flossing isn’t to remove food from between your teeth, (although it’s an additional wonderful benefit) but the ultimate goal of flossing is to remove the biofilm pellicle (the stuff that is forming plaque)! Think about it like you are SCRAPING bacteria off your tooth, not just popping off food that may be stuck. When you are doing this - don’t be lazy about it. Laziness is when you’re not hugging the tooth. Remember you need to actually scrape off the biofilm from the tooth itself… think about it as “hugging each side of each tooth” is the best way.
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