Even with the most diligent brushing, you can only clean up to 60% of all your teeth surfaces with brushing alone. The remaining 40% are the narrow spaces in between your teeth and underneath your gums where no well-designed toothbrush can reach to remove plaque build-up.
Without flossing, you are at risk of developing decay and gum inflammation in between your teeth, since plaque is left behind to thrive in these areas.
- Wrap about 30cm of floss around your middle or index fingers.
- Grip the floss between the thumb and index finger of each hand, leaving about 3 to 5 cm in between.
- Gently direct the floss between each tooth. Move it slowly down past the contact point using a sawing motion.
- Once near the gums, wrap the floss around one side of the tooth and gently slide it up and down the space between the tooth and gums. Don’t use a sawing motion when you are near the gums. Repeat on the other side of the gums on the adjacent tooth.
- It is recommended that you start at the midline and work your way to the back teeth on each side.
You can also use floss holders or floss picks should you find it a challenge with the floss thread – the plastic component helps to hold the floss taut which makes it easier to floss difficult areas.
Another alternative to flossing is to use interdental brushes, especially if you have large pre-existing gaps in between your teeth. These brushes come in various sizes, so it is best to pick the right size to avoid traumatizing your gums and widening the gaps further!
If you have not flossed for a long time and decided to start recently, but find that flossing is very difficult, chances are that there has been calculus build-up which would impede flossing. A round of Scaling & Polishing would help to remove these obstructions, and starting a regular flossing routine right after Scaling & Polishing is best. Calculus will form again within a few days if flossing is not done routinely, so remember not to skip the floss!Back to top