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6 Flossing Follies We All Commit (and Easy Ways to Fix Them!): How to Floss Properly for Your Best Smile Yet

Updated: Apr 30

6 Flossing Follies We All Commit (and Easy Ways to Fix Them!): How to Floss Properly for Your Best Smile Yet

Did you know you’re probably flossing wrong (if you’re doing it at all)? We have 6 tips to help you floss your teeth properly for a dazzling smile!


Many thanks to

Here's How to Perfect Your Dental Hygiene Routine

A healthy dental hygiene routine involves flossing before brushing for better plaque removal. Rinsing with mouthwash after flossing but before brushing can further improve oral health. Being consistent with your oral hygiene—including proper flossing techniques—can lead to healthier teeth and gums.

There are Different Floss Types: Use The Right One For You!

Understanding the various types of dental floss available helps individuals choose the most suitable option for their needs. Waxed and unwaxed nylon floss, PTFE floss, dental tape, and super floss each have unique advantages. Ultimately, it will come down to your personal preference and comfort.

Master the Art of Flossing

Like your dentist always says, proper flossing technique is crucial for maintaining good oral hygiene. Learning the correct way to floss can prevent gum disease and cavities. Consistent flossing can remove food particles and plaque, promoting healthier teeth and gums.

6 Tips to Floss Properly: Avoid These Flossing Follies

Folly 1: You’re using the wrong floss type

I know about waxed v. unwaxed floss, but there are even more kinds than that! Dr. Wei says that it’s ultimately about personal preference—I'm a mint-waxed girl, myself— but if you hate flossing, maybe you’re using the wrong kind for your teeth and gums.

Folly 2: You’re not getting Underneath the gum line

You’re supposed to curve the floss around the base of your tooth and slide it just below the gum line to get at the plaque and other gross crap from these hard-to-reach areas.

Folly 3: You’re forgetting the very back of your mouth

Ensure you floss both sides of every tooth, including the back molars. Lots of people don’t think about the space between your last tooth and where it meets the gums, but it gets nasty back there!

Follies 4 & 5: You’re not using a clean section of floss for each tooth, because You aren’t using enough floss

After cleaning one tooth, wrap the dirty part around your finger and use a clean part of the floss for the next tooth, just like your hygienist does. No spreading bacteria, mmmkay?

And with that,

“You want to use 18 to 24 inches of floss, so you can wrap most of it around your fingers and still have a few inches to work with,” says Dr. Wei. “Hold the floss tightly against the tooth surface and slide it gently up and down in a C-shape motion.”

Folly 6: You’re flossing after you brush

Get ready to have your mind blown (because Jenny and I both did)... Dr. Wei recommends the following order of operations for most people:

  1. Floss: It's best to start with flossing as it helps remove food particles and plaque from between the teeth and along the gumline. It's like dusting before your vacuum. You get all the stuff out of the nooks and crannies so that you can pick it all up with the vacuum right? Same thing here. Floss first, i.e. get everything out of those nooks and crannies, so you can brush/rinse it away!

  2. Rinse: 🤯 After flossing, rinse your mouth with water or an antiseptic mouthwash to get rid of the stuff you just loosened up with the floss and to get minty fresh.

  3. Brush: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to clean your whole mouth. Your teeth, your gums, your tongue, errythang. Brush for at least two minutes. 

  4. Don’t rinse again! “The reason is that the fluoride in the toothpaste needs some time to stay in contact with your teeth to provide added protection,” explains Dr. Wei. “So, spitting out excess toothpaste after brushing is recommended, but it's better to avoid rinsing immediately,” he adds.

It's important to remember that (1) CK isn't your dentist (duh) and (2) if you aren't in the habit of flossing properly, it's okay! It's never too late to start, and it'll probably feel good to stop lying to your actual dentist. 😉

Smile bright!

CK (& GK)


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