When, Where and How You Should Floss


If you are not a morning person, we don’t suggest you force yourself to make important decisions or complete tasks that require concentration and fine motor skills right when you wake up.  Since preventing a potentially life threatening infection in your mouth is a focus worthy habit, wait until you have breakfast and that cup of coffee.  When your eyes and hands are ready to start the day, then it’s time to give your teeth some attention.  Since plaque acids are fairly high in the morning, it’s really okay to wait a while after you eat to brush and floss.   For those of you that get up before the crack of dawn and can barely keep your eyes open while eating dinner, you might not want to put flossing into your evening routine.  The point here is to floss when you will be good at it and the time of day that’s ideal will vary from person to person.


Hate seeing unidentified objects flying through the air only to end up on your mirror?  Yes, flossing can seem gross, especially when you haven’t done it in a while.  To make things less unsanitary, why not take your flossing tools with you to the shower. Whenever you need to rinse, the water is right there for your use.  Since most people do shower on a daily basis, this is a great way to sneak in a quick flossing session and start a healthy habit.  Some other common flossing places are in the car while commuting, on the couch during your favorite television program and at the office right after lunch.


Flossing correctly is dependent on one thing and that is YOU.  No one type of floss is universally appropriate for every human being on the planet.  Tape, woven, string, waxed, un-waxed, mint, unflavored, super floss etc. are all just fine if they make you happy.  Hate string floss?  Then switch to a floss holder.  Got spaces?  Proxabrushes, plastic toothpicks or other interdental tools might work well.  Need something for your bridge?  You need a threader.  The takeaway here is that in order for you to protect the dental work in your mouth and all of the gums and bone that hold your teeth in place, it’s very important to find the tool that effectively cleans away food and bacteria.

Steps for string flossing:

  • Wrap the ends of an 18-24 inch piece of floss around your middle fingers
  • Hold the floss in between your thumb and forefinger on each hand
  • Carefully push the floss past the tight contact on each tooth using your index finger as a guide.
  • Make a “C” shape as you wrap the floss and glide up and down the neck of every single tooth several times
  • Try moving to a clean section of the floss after each tooth.

Although you may have dental work that prevents the use of traditional string floss, the same principle applies to all of your teeth no matter what tool you use.  The little space around each tooth (called a sulcus) has the shape of a moat around a castle.  Imagine cleaning the germs from this moat every day and you are on your way to becoming a flossing superstar!