You should brush your teeth at least two or three times each day, but to take good care of your mouth, you need to floss regularly as well. Flossing lets you completely clear the spaces between your teeth of debris and potentially harmful bacteria and stimulates your gums, as well. Without proper flossing habits, you could be facing oral health problems including cavities, gum disease, and even potential tooth loss.

Good oral health impacts every aspect of your life, from your eating and digestion to your speaking and social skills. Taking time to floss correctly can save you a lot of future worries, pain, and money. At Sunrise Dental of Spokane, our team is here to help you perfect your technique. These are the most common flossing mistakes we see and some suggestions for maximizing the benefits of your oral hygiene routine.

Common flossing mistakes to avoid

Many people struggle with flossing and may not be fully completing the oral cleaning process. Common flossing errors include:

  • Not flossing regularly enough
  • Not protecting your oral health overnight by flossing before bed
  • Flossing after you brush, not before
  • Only using a flossing pick, which doesn’t sufficiently clean or stimulate your gums
  • Not cleaning between the whole tooth, just dipping in between gaps

Ideally, flossing works to clean your whole tooth with the floss contouring around each tooth’s curve for complete cleaning and stimulation all the way down to the root.

Get a good floss every time

When you come in for your twice-yearly professional dental cleaning appointment, the care team at Sunrise Dental of Spokane checks in with you about your flossing technique. We can make suggestions, showing you the best ways to work on your flossing for improved dental health.

Each time you get ready to floss, you should:

Step 1

Choose the right floss for your teeth, using the right thinness or thickness for your mouth shape and dental history (you may need a thinner floss if you’ve had extensive dental work).

Step 2

Break off a piece of floss about 18 inches long.

Step 3

Wrap the excess floss around one of your middle fingers and use your other middle finger to hold the rest of the floss. Tightly pinch the floss between your thumb and forefingers to reach into your mouth.

Step 4

Gently guide the floss between and around your teeth, cleaning with a rubbing motion.

Step 5

Shift to new sections as your floss becomes dirty and throw out used floss.

For the best results, wait until after flossing to brush. That way, you won’t be removing the beneficial fluoride in your toothpaste from your teeth’s surfaces.

To find out from a member of our staff if you’re making errors in your flossing technique, schedule a professional cleaning at Sunrise Dental. We provide expert care for patients of all ages in the Spokane and Spokane Valley, Washington area. Give us a call today to book your appointment.