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How to Floss Properly by Doing Less. DM Dental Experts Speak

know how to floss properly

All dentists and patients will agree that flossing is a necessary habit. And there is no way around it. Without flossing, you are at risk of plaque build-up in places where a toothbrush can hardly reach. This, in turn, can lead to cavities and gum diseases. And dental floss works only if it is done regularly and in the same intensity and motions. So, knowing how to floss properly helps to maintain your oral health.

Why is it important to have a flossing guide?

It’s a known fact that small food particles tend to get stuck in gaps between the teeth and at times below the gumline. Brushing your teeth helps to remove the food particles, bacteria, and plaque from the visible sides of the teeth. However, it’s not possible for a regular toothbrush to reach the small gaps. Flossing helps in interdental cleaning.

If you refrain from in-between teeth cleaning, the plaque can harden over time resulting in tartar. This cannot be dislodged via normal brushing or flossing. You need a dentist to scale and polish the teeth. Tartar and plaque build-up breed bacteria which in turn affect the enamel. One of the first signs of plaque build-up is bad breath.

When plaque forms in pockets between gums and teeth, this can often become worse and turn to a disease known as gingivitis. In the worst condition, the tooth will come loose.

Types of dental floss tools

There are different types of dental flosses available in the market. Some of the kinds available are

  • Waxed and unwaxed floss: Both are equally effective in removing food particles, but the waxed one is easier to use as it is easy to slide between teeth.
  • Floss picks: The best thing about this type is that these pre-threaded floss folders can reach even the back portions of the mouth. If you plan to floss on the go, then floss picks are great options.
  • Flavored wax: They will not add calories, but the flavored dental floss with cinnamon and mint will make your mouth fresher.
  • Ribbon or tape floss: Both tape and ribbon floss cover a wide area in the mouth, so they help in better cleaning. Knowing how to floss properly with a ribbon floss is important so that you don’t cut your gum or tongue.

The proper way to floss: Traditional vs. Waterpik – what will be your pick?

You may have contemplated about dental flossing using Waterpik. Getting inputs from your dental hygienist is a good idea.

Watch this video to understand why Waterpik is a good option for dental flossing!


Understand the similarities and differences so that you know which type of cleaning technique will be better for you.

Waterpik water flossers use pressurized/forced steam of water which overthrows bacteria, food particles, and plaque. A Waterpik is particularly helpful for people with arthritis or anyone who may find difficulty in maneuvering a string floss. Men for instance, as seen in the video find string floss difficult to use as they have large hands.

Pros of Waterpik

  • Easy-to-use
  • Cleans between tight spots between teeth

Cons of Waterpik:

  • Can be more expensive than traditional floss

Correct flossing technique using Waterpik

It’s easy to use Waterpiks. But if you are new to this mechanism, you may need some help in how to floss properly. New users must first figure out the power setting and correct water temperature. Place the tip inside the mouth, then turn on the unit, go slow and glide the tip across the gumline.

It’s best to start from back teeth and gradually move towards the front. You should use the Waterpik till you have cleaned your mouth inside and out and both sets of teeth.

Is water flossing as effective as a dental floss?

Flossing is a habit and you will be uncomfortable if you don’t have the habit. It should get easier once you know how to floss properly. One may argue that dental floss types are different and if one is not effective, you can try another.

But you can always choose a water flosser if you have trouble with traditional floss. People with permanent dental work or braces will find a Waterpik particularly useful.

You should typically stick to one dental hygiene routine which you should enjoy and follow every day. Having a conversation with our DM Dental dentists at Urbandale, Iowa is a good idea. They will guide you about using dental floss correctly. There are some who prefer the control associated with manual flossing. While some love the deep-clean fresh feeling which a Waterpik gives.

The choice is yours, but of course, for men, Waterpik has proved to be a boon among dental floss options in Iowa. Come visit us for a good conversation with our dental hygienists. And when it comes to emergency dental services Des Moines, we are always at your service.

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