How to Floss for Healthier Gums

Posted May 26th, 2016 in General Blog

How to Floss for Healthier Gums

At Academy Dental Group in Winnipeg, we strongly believe in preventive services such as flossing and brushing properly for healthier gums.

How to Floss For Healthy Gums

We all know we should floss, but not all of us know how to do it properly.

Just like performing your exercise routine, you have to execute proper form so you maximize the benefits of the exercise and so you won't hurt yourself!

Doesn't Just "Clean" Your Teeth

Before you read the "How-To" of flossing, it's a good idea to understand the reason for it, so you feel more motivated to floss on the days you do not feel like it.

So, each tooth has five surfaces, by only brushing your teeth, you are only taking care of 3 surfaces for that tooth. 2 of 5 surfaces remain unclean, so that means you only completed 60% of your cleaning. That's like cleaning half of your body when you shower.

By leaving the plaque in between your teeth for days or...even worse, months. Then UNWELCOMED organisms begin to live inside your gums.

The bacteria produces acid on a regular basis, which is why at one point you, may have gotten cavities. Your body wants to kick them out, but instead your gums become red, swollen and they will even bleed, ruining the appearance of your gums.

You now have gingivitis. And a possibility of bad breath.

If you continue to have gingivitis, the inflammation will continue to invade your gums and will then attack the bones surrounding your teeth, thus leaving less support for your teeth.

Now you have periodontitis.

Fortunately, you can manage the amount of bacteria with flossing.

Performing The C-Shape Floss

If you have not floss in a long time, then you may expect a little bit of blood, as your gums are not used to the stimulation and because the gingivitis is not managed well.

To kick it off…

    • Break a piece of floss at least 12-18 inches long
    • You can either start at the top or bottom teeth
    • Wrap floss around your middle fingers. Depending on your preference, you may wrap more floss on either your left or right middle finger, while your other middle finger will carry less. This will help later as you use new parts of the floss.
    • Your thumb and index finger will be your guide. Use your index finger as a guide to direct the floss on either your upper and lower teeth. With more experience, you will learn to use the fingers as a full crum as you floss.
    • Now slide the floss in between the teeth in a see saw motion, so you can prevent your gums from being traumatized when you floss.
    • Wrap the tooth you are flossing in a C Shape or close to it. This is so you can, actually take most of the plaque off under the curvy part of the tooth.
    • Now move the floss up and down, for atleast 3 strokes! So you can be sure your taking off the plaque because most of the time, it might still be there in your first stroke.
    • As you perform your strokes, make sure the floss goes right below the gums!
    • Do not forget the adjacent tooth next to it.
    • Repeat for the rest of teeth and when moving to new areas, unwrap the floss in the middle finger where you have most of the floss wrapped around, onto the other finger.

What’s Next?

Floss for at least thirty days, so it becomes a habit you do not think about, like brushing your teeth. Similar to exercising, you may not feel like it in the beginning, but after the initial resistance, it will become weird not to floss.

Yeah, I know hard to believe.

You might be wondering, what if you still don’t like flossing or you find it difficult?

Well, there are other ways to clean in between your teeth. But that’s for another post in the future!

If you want to learn more from our clinicians and even have them show you in your appointments, so you can brush and floss the proper way. Go to our website and make an appointment at: http://www.academydentalgroup.com/

Thanks for reading!

Questions? Comments? Let me hear from you below!

PS- I know, it is tough to get to the far back of your teeth, and you may want to neglect it… but still go for it! You may take some plaque off, and that is better than nothing!

DentAssure | Academy Dental Group


The Academy Dental Team

  • We really love our patients and are thrilled every time you come in for an appointment. Our entire team is honoured to be caring for your dental needs and we hope you truly feel comfortable at our practice!
    - Freda, Practice Manager


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