What is The Best Way To Floss Teeth?

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Do you floss your teeth regularly? Do you know what is the best way to floss teeth? If you do, this post is for you if you want to improve your flossing and do read till the end for a Bonus to improve your oral health. If you are not flossing regularly, this post is also for you, to persuade and guide you to add flossing to your oral routine easily.

As I research on the number of people who do floss, the percentage looks likely to be 40% or less. This means there is a huge majority of people who don’t floss. And I am one of them. So as I go about writing this post, I am going to convert myself from a “non flosser” to one who floss.

Floss Market share

The Floss Market is expected to grow by USD 1.03 Billion during the next few years. Waxed floss will lead the way as more and more of the population is being educated on the growing importance of dental care.

Why The Resistance To Flossing?

In a 2016 survey on “How many Americans floss their teeth“, those who never floss are likely to be

  • Males (39%) vs females (27%).
  • People 75 or older (45%) vs those aged 30 to 44 (31%).
  • Low-income participants (49%) vs higher income brackets (28%).

Only 16% said they always floss once a day. 20% said they only floss when they need to. 8% simply never floss. There are many reasons why one is not flossing.

  • Too Time ConsumingWhat is The Best Way to Floss Teeth?

Flossing if done correctly, only requires up to 5 minutes. A first timer may need more time to learn what techniques work, but once the best method of flossing has been mastered, it should not take too long. Being lazy to take time to properly learn the correct method, will cost you a possible loss of tooth in the future.

  • Too Painful, Scared of Bleeding

Users report that they find it too painful and are worried when they spot bleeding. Healthy gums do not bleed. Bleeding is a sign of early onset of gum disease and attention has to be given for increased prevention. The more you floss, the more you will remove the bacteria lurking between the gaps of the teeth, restoring a healthy environment to your teeth.

If you see bleeding, provided that you are not using too much force and doing flossing correctly, the more you should persist. The bleeding will go away in a week or so.

The reason why gums bleed when brushing or flossing is the body’s immune system at work. The body is sending more immune cells to fight the bacteria, so it appears as bleeding and swollen gums.

  • Too Gross

The smell of rotting food mixed with bacteria is definitely not going to smell nice. Plus the thoughts of putting their fingers and jamming into their teeth. No wonder flossing is not a pleasant activity.

  • Physically Demanding

Flossing is an art because you have to manipulate a tiny white floss into the gaps of every tooth in the upper and lower teeth. Not everybody has the physical motor skills to perfect it. While it is easy to insert the floss into the front teeth, the difficulty gets higher when you have to bring the floss to the back molars. This is where it can get physically challenging and people just simply give up.

New Survey Highlights “Unusual” Flossing HabitsWhat is The Best Way to Floss Teeth?

An interesting thing I found out was how people resolve getting bits of food stuck between their teeth. I discovered in a survey (on 1005 adults) released by American Dental Association (ADA), of several unusual flossing habits. Instead of using floss, they have resorted to using

  • Fingernails (61 %)
  • Folder paper or cups (40%)
  • Cutlery (21%)
  • Safety Pins (14%)
  • Strands of hair (7%)

Maybe I can add a “tongue” to it. Do you have other methods of getting food stuck between your teeth?

How To Overcome Resistance to Flossing

Understand The Benefits Of Flossing 

Brushing alone can remove food debris on the surfaces and bacteria along the gum lines, but a toothbrush cannot reach the gaps between every tooth. Flossing is the act of removing food particles from between teeth, so that there is no bacteria that can nest and become plaque. Plaque over time mixes with more bacteria and become tartar which can only be removed by dental equipment. To kill and dislodge the bacteria in the first instance will save so many potential toothaches later.

Persistent Practice

Start slow. Watch videos on Youtube and practice in front of the mirror. Repeat and do not give up. One day, you will be able to say “I did it!” and then you will enjoy flossing every day.

Consequences of Non-Flossing

Gingivitis and Periodontal Diseases 

Bacteria hiding in the crevices are perfect breeding grounds for gum diseases. Early-stage of gum disease, called Gingivitis has your gums looking swollen and red. This if not treated early, will see gums receding. When it graduates to become periodontal disease, the bacteria eat away at the roots and gums of the tooth. Your tooth has nothing to anchor to, and usually calls for extraction.

Bad Breath 

If a person who you talk to, has bad breath, you can be sure he does not have very good oral care habits. Ever wonder what causes bad breath? None other than bacteria mixing with his saliva. The more elements you add to your dental habits, the more you can definitely prevent bad breath from developing.

Illnesses And Other Diseases

As much as it sounds frightening, not having good oral hygiene can actually lead to many illnesses such as heart disease, joint inflammation and lung diseases.

How to Floss the Correct Way

This is a quick method to kick start your flossing journey.

1. Extend the floss from your fingertip to your elbow and tear it off from the floss box. That should be the recommended length of 18 inches needed for your flossing.

2. You can either twirl the majority of the floss around your right middle finger and the remainder over your left middle finger. Alternatively, you can tie both ends so it becomes a loop.

3. Divide the upper part of your teeth into 2 halves, left and right halves. Start by working on the upper front 2 incisors, and then moving on to the canine and then to the premolars and molars.

4. Let your floss slide down between the gaps of 2 teeth gently. Pull the floss up and down 5 times. Then curve the floss into a “C” shape and go up and down, reaching into the gum line without hurting. Repeat the “C” on the other side.

5. When you are done with one side, gently lift the floss up and out of the gap.

6. You can do a little investigation by smelling on the floss, to know the degree of bacteria you have dug out.

7. Using a new section of the floss, repeat to all gaps on the right then to the left sector of the upper teeth.

8. Do it also to the lower teeth.

You can watch this video on how to do flossing the correct way.

BONUS : A Mouth Map Download

Wouldn’t it be great if you can have a visual map of how your teeth looks like? For a visual guide of how your teeth looks like, download a copy of the MouthMap. You can then see how your teeth is positioned so that you get the best picture as you move from teeth to teeth.

I have attached a photo that described each tooth, like the incisors, canines, premolars and molars. Having a mouth map and following it in your flossing routine will go a great way for you to know the weak areas in your mouth and to address those issues.  What is The Best Way to Floss Teeth?

Conclusion – Are you a flosser yet?

I hope you have understood the importance of flossing. If you have the above objections before, you should know that they do not outweigh the benefits of flossing. Get started today, do it gradually and build up to once daily. If you have issues, please seek your dentist for guidance.

Wait! What if I really do not like to floss? Fortunately, there are still some things you can do to keep up your oral hygiene if you don’t like to floss. Read the article “What if I don’t really like to floss?” to learn alternative ways to do so.

Let me know in the comments what were the most difficult “angles” to reach in your teeth, and how you overcome it. I would love to learn from you!

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12 thoughts on “What is The Best Way To Floss Teeth?”

  1. Hi Bee,

    I am really amazed to know that there are so many things involved in flossing. The survey highlights you shared are informative. Wow, 1.03 Billion! Being an Affiliate Marketer this information is driving me to build a website on the Floss niche lol.

    Thanks a lot for the detailed and in-depth information. I got helpful insights and the benefits of flossing are great. The step by step information on how to floss the correct way is an eye-opener for me. The video you embedded is very informative. I will implement what I learned from your article.

    • Yes, the floss industry is indeed big! The more people get to do flossing accurately and timely, we can definitely reduce dental diseases from the onset.

      Great that you will implement what you have read in my post! 

  2. In my own opinion, the best way to floss a teeth is as follows…Flossing instructions…
    To hold the floss correctly, wind most of thefloss around both of your middle fingers. Leave only about 1 to 2 inches of floss foryour teeth. Next, hold the floss taut with yourthumbs and index fingers. Place the dentalfloss in between two teeth…

    these steps all definitely help you out….

  3. It is usually the little stuff we don’t take time to do or to do properly.  I don’t believe I have ever read an article on proper flossing so when yours popped up, I thought “Why not.” I didn’t expect such a clear message about this part of our health and body care routine.  No, I am a late flosser, and now would not miss the step.  

    Most articles are written for kids, assuming that the adults know how and why.   We probably do know how and why, but a well-written reminder is a plus to keep me on track.  I agree with the statics that you stated about the percentages of women and men and age ranges.  

    Some of us just don’t get how important this stage of our health and body care is.  Thanks for the reminder.


    • Thank you Sami for dropping by and for your comments. 

      Glad that you have turned into a flosser! Better a late flosser than no flossing at all.  

  4. Thank  you, i too am not a flosser. I have not done that and think that it is quite difficult and very much time consuming at least that is what i thought.

    Now i have a different view on the matter of Flossing and might want to partake on it too. I would love to come back and share my experiences with you here.

    Unfortunately i can not tell you which angle is most difficult to reach for me but might ask if mouth washers can help reduce bad breath ?

    • Thank you for being honest that you don’t floss, and I am so glad that you will seriously consider flossing after reading my post. Yes, please come back and share your experience here! 

      The more things we do to our oral hygiene, we are adding more points and layers to our oral lines of defence. So definitely using a mouthwash will contribute to our overall oral health.

      The great thing about mouthwash is that they contain anti-bacterial agents that kills the germs in the mouth. However, because it also keeps the mouth dry and reduce saliva production, bacteria can quickly return. So it seems like a short term solution. 

      Other possible remedies for bad breath include drinking plenty of water, eating less sugar foods, brushing your tongue and reducing smoking. One effective method that worked for me is the OraWellness Healthy Mouth Blend which I have been using for a few years. You can buy one and try for yourself! 

  5. Hi there, I have a nephew who is a dentist and I always think that he might look at my smile and think that I don’t floss often enough! So I do floss, but I don’t think as often as I should.

    I think with me personally, it is more a case that I forget. If I put the floss out on the bathroom surface where I can see it, I tend to do it after I have brushed my teeth. But if it is tucked away in the cupboard where I cannot see it,  I don’t think about it and therefore do not do it. So I need a big reminder on the mirror! 

    I never knew the recommended length to be 18 inches, so thanks for that. 

    • Yes, thank you for dropping by, and letting me know you floss! 

      The ideal time to floss is usually before we go to sleep, so that the food particles don’t stay there overnight. Putting the floss on the basin shelf is a great way to remind yourself, and a stick-on pad on the mirror is definitely what I am going to try out!

  6. Hey nice article you have there, when I was a kid I never knew the importance of flossing the teeth, after each meal , I relax took my bag and go for lecture without flossing, many a time, a friend of mine will draw my attention to particles of meat hung on my teeth, gosh really embarrassing the.I was introduce to flossing of teeth at 13, till date I have never fail to use my floss twice daily.

    • Wow! I am so impressed! Flossing at 13 years old! I must really pick up this habit and teach my kids too! Thanks for the inspiration! 


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