To floss your teeth effectively, you'll need about 15- to 18-inches of clean dental floss. Some people prefer the waxed dental floss, while others like to use the unwaxed type. You need to wind the floss around the middle fingers of both hands until all that's left is about one or two inches of floss. Holding tightly to the floss, you can slide the floss between your teeth. Be sure you go around the tooth base to remove any food or debris and to keep the gums clean. Avoid pushing on the gum as you can cause an injury. After you have flossed one tooth, you can continue on to do the rest of the teeth. As you do so, move the floss in your hand so you have clean sections of floss for each tooth. Be sure to get the back molars as these are sometimes difficult to reach. If you are unsure how to floss effectively, ask your dentist or dental hygienist for a demonstration.
A Answers (5)
American Dental Association answered
Flossing once a day is part of a good oral health routine that also includes brushing twice daily for two minutes each with a fluoride toothpaste and seeing your dentist regularly. It is especially important to floss and practice good oral health if you are diabetic, as you are at greater risk for some oral health problems.
Flossing can reach places that the toothbrush can miss. This will remove plaque the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth, which can lead to cavities, gum disease and other problems.
To floss, break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty. Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Never snap the floss into the gums.
Carol Jahn, Dentistry, answered
If you have diabetes and have never flossed or not flossed in a long time, it may be challenging to effectively floss due to possible inflammation and bleeding. If you have swollen tissue, it can be hard to get the floss between the teeth. You want to avoid snapping the floss into the tissue can causing trauma.
One product that has been tested and found safe and effective for people with diabetes is a Water Flosser. At the lowest setting it can provide a gentle cleansing action for a soothing effect. As you mouth becomes healthier, you can increase the pressure as comfortable. A study at the University of Buffalo found that people who had diabetes and used a Water Flosser and 44% less bleeding and 41% less gingivitis when they used a Water Flosser.
Saul Miller, Dentistry, answered
The flossing technique is the same for all patients. Check out my answer “How should I floss my teeth” for the details. Some areas may be more challenging to reach than others. Flossing is a skill that must be learned and habit that must be developed. After you have mastered the "art" of flossing, often you may notice that your teeth and mouth just do not feel clean if you skip a day.
It is important to floss between all the teeth, not just those that are in the front or easy to reach. If you are having difficulty, ask your dental professional for instruction and help. If necessary other methods of interproximal cleaning (between the teeth) may be suggested.
People with diabetes should take the time to brush and floss regularly, brushing at least twice a day and flossing once. Everyone should practice good oral hygiene, but it is especially important for diabetics, because diabetes can have an effect on the periodontal (gum) health, and uncontrolled periodontal disease can have an effect on diabetes control.
It is essential to have routine recall examinations and cleaning of the teeth, along with performing good oral hygiene daily. In this way you will hopefully avoid problems before they become serious.
American Diabetes Association answeredFew people really enjoy flossing. But if you don't floss, you're only doing half the job of cleaning your teeth and gums. Flossing cleans away plaque and bits of food from between your teeth and below the gum line. It gets places your brush can't reach. Floss once a day:
- Break off 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the rest around the same finger of the other hand.
- Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and index fingers. Leave about an inch between them.
- Use a gentle sawing motion to get the floss between your teeth. Never snap the floss into the gums.
- When you get the floss to the gum line, curve it into a C-shape against one tooth. Scrape up and down on the sides of each tooth to remove plaque.
- As floss gets worn and dirty, move to a clean section and continue. Don't forget the backsides of your rear teeth.
- When you're done brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth with water.