Flossing is an essential part of dental hygiene as it allows the removal of food particles from areas that are not easily accessible through other cleaning methods. These food particles are the among the leading causes of unwanted eventualities such as but not limited to, tooth decay and a foul smell from the mouth. Flossing reaches particles stuck between teeth and the gum line as well. It is recommended to floss daily to avoid the build-up of these particles which lead to gum decay. While people may floss daily as recommended, they may be doing it in the wrong way which may cause more harm than good. Flossing the wrong way may lead to bleeding of gums from tears on the gum for instance, between tightly packed teeth and the use of force. Therefore, the right practices in flossing are as follows:

  • Choose the appropriate floss. There are two types of dental floss, which are multifilament and monofilament. While both types, if used properly, are effective in removing the debris, they have various merits and demerits which present a choice. The multifilament floss often tears and shreds between teeth which is quite unpleasant. The monofilament, on the other hand, doesn’t break and tear even when used to floss between tightly packed teeth. However, this type of floss popularly known as PTFE is usually more expensive than the nylon floss.
  • Length of floss. The recommended length of floss is eighteen inches, and after rolling it around the fingers, leaving one inch of floss to work with. The floss should be rolled on two of the middle fingers from both hands leaving the one inch between them. Roll most of the floss on one finger and release the floss gradually as the floss collects the debris from the teeth and rolling it on the opposite finger giving more clean floss to work with.
  • Proper motion while flossing. The floss should be tightly pinched between either thumbs and the forefingers to avoid slipping. The floss should then be guided through the areas between the teeth or the gum gently avoiding snapping the floss or tearing and harm to the gum. The gentle motion should be guided along a c-shaped curve around the teeth back and forth for the effective removal of food particles.
  • Disposal. After successfully repeating this process for all teeth, the dirty floss should be disposed of appropriately since it may contain bacteria that might have developed on the food debris removed. Using an already used floss could do more harm spreading bacteria to other teeth hence are ineffective.


Proper flossing etiquette could save a person from frequent trips to the dentist which are often painful as a result of the removal of some teeth that may have decayed. It is, therefore, convenient that one invests in the appropriate floss for their needs and maintains dental hygiene as recommended by dental professionals and experts such as solidSMILES.  A good smile improves among other benefits a person’s confidence and self-esteem.

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