Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind some of it around your middle finger (3 turns); this finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty. Shorten the length between the two fingers to 6 inches and wind some floss (1 turn) around the opposite middle finger. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and index fingers. Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C-shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth. Hold the floss tightly against the tooth as you gently rub the side of the tooth with an up and down motion. Before retrieving it, reverse the C-shape to clean the adjacent tooth surface as well.
As you finish cleaning each tooth, wind the dirty floss once around the first middle finger and slide more new length of floss to proceed to the next teeth.
1: No one type of floss is really better. Use whatever you can get. The important thing is to just use it!
2: Periodontal disease commonly occurs between the teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach, especially between the back teeth which are wider and harder to reach.
3: Flossing is a very effective way to remove plaque from those surfaces. However, it is important to develop the proper technique. The following instructions will help you, but remember it takes time and practice.
Because your toothbrush won't reach between your teeth, brushing alone won't keep your teeth clean and healthy. Flossing can help. A floss threader, available from us or a pharmacy, helps you floss with braces on. Floss once a day, like this:
- Thread floss through the threader and slip it up behind your archwire.
- Pull the floss between two teeth and up under your gum margins.
- Rinse with lots of clean water, and watch your teeth and braces sparkle!