Tips on flossing properly

One dental habit that should be a focus for patients every day is flossing. Flossing the teeth helps in removing food particles that can become stuck between the teeth and contribute to the development of tooth decay and periodontal disease. However, do you know how to floss correctly? Flossing, when done right, has its benefits for one’s smile and oral health.

Flossing correctly

  • Use one of the two types of floss, including nylon and filament floss
  • Wrap approximately 18” of floss around the index fingers with 1-2” of tight floss between
  • Slide the floss between the teeth in a sawing back-and-forth motion
  • Create a “C” shape with the floss to scrape the sides of teeth
  • Use the floss to the gum line to curve it around
  • Avoid cutting the gums with floss
  • Adjust to a clean section of floss as you go along
  • Floss at least once a day for the most effective results

Why is flossing necessary?


  • Removes food particles from between teeth
  • Addresses plaque between the teeth and along the gum line
  • Reduces the risk of periodontal disease and cavities
  • Reduces pockets between the gums and teeth that can harbor bacteria

Should I brush first or floss first?

There is no more “effective” method of caring for the smile in terms of which to do first. As long as you are cleaning your teeth with both brushing and flossing, you are making a positive impact on your oral health and wellness. During dental evaluations, our dental staff can removed  any plaque that may have been in a hard-to-reach area and can contribute to disease or decay formation.

Establishing and maintaining healthy habits starts with an examination by Dr. Michael Westman

To keep the smile healthy, it is best that patients take good care of their smiles each and every day. We encourage new and current patients of our practice in Racine, WI to schedule an appointment with our team to start with an initial evaluation. During this appointment, our team can make recommendations regarding the best ways to improve one’s oral health and achieve their smile goals! Call (262) 639-7000 today to book your visit at 4944 Charles Street. We are excited to see you and help you on your oral healthcare journey!

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Monday - Friday: 7am - 2pm

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