Monthly Archives: November 2015

Proper Flossing Technique

Everyone knows that a beautiful smile starts with proper dental hygiene. The one often overlooked factor of that beautiful smile and proper hygiene is flossing. Everyone knows the effectiveness of proper tooth brushing but did you also know that proper flossing helps combat plaque buildup, stops gum decay and helps fight cavities?

We here at Mountain Orthodontics, the highly rated Squamish orthodontist, would like to provide you with this quick overview for proper flossing techniques.

Type of Floss

Dental floss comes in many different forms and flavours. The two main types of floss are nylon and PTFE. Nylon is constructed with many different filaments and may come apart or shred in tight spaces.

The other type of dental floss is called PTFE and is constructed as a single filament. This type of floss is more expensive but is less likely to come apart in tight spaces between teeth. Both types of floss come in waxed and unwaxed options. Waxed dental floss tends to slide between your teeth easier than the unwaxed variety. What is more important than the type of floss you are using is that you are practicing proper flossing techniques and flossing on a regular basis.

Getting Started

Once you have chosen the type of floss that is right for you, it is time to begin. To start, wind approximately 45 cm of floss around your two index fingers. This will give you the control needed to properly floss your teeth. Most people choose to floss after brushing, but feel free to floss your teeth at any time during the day.


You are now ready to begin. The American Dental Association breaks down the proper flossing technique into four easy steps. Wind the floss around your fingers, guide the floss using your index fingers, glide and slide. When you are guiding the floss between your teeth, use a zig-zag motion to get the most plaque and food particles off your tooth’s surface. Remember to use a gentle technique to not injure your gums when flossing. The final step, slide, refers to the technique of ensuring proper coverage of your tooth’s surface. Remember to floss each individual tooth thoroughly and remember to change your floss midway to ensure clean floss for the entire process. It does not matter if you floss the bottom teeth before your top teeth or vice-versa. What is important however, is that you floss all of your teeth and remember to thoroughly floss your gums as well to remove any food particles and to help combat against gum disease and decay.

Flossing is just as important as brushing is when it comes to proper dental hygiene. Remember, proper flossing is an integral part to ensure a bright and beautiful smile.

Happy flossing!