Dental Floss: When and How to Use It?

What Is Dental Floss For?

Brushing isn’t enough. It only removes 50% of dental plaque in your mouth, while the complementary use of dental floss can remove up to 70%. Using dental floss allows for the removal of everything that a toothbrush can’t reach, such as food residues in the interdental spaces and plaque under the gums. Therefore, dental floss is an essential tool for preventing cavities and gum diseases.

How to Use Dental Floss

Dental floss should not be rushed or used too forcefully, as it could harm the health of your gums, irritate, or damage them.


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After brushing your teeth and washing your hands, take a segment of dental floss about 40-50 cm long.


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Wrap it twice around your middle or index fingers, keeping a short segment between your thumbs and index fingers.


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Slide the floss between your teeth, moving it gently up and down and back and forth. Don’t forget to pass the floss under the gums.

When to Use Dental Floss?

In the world of dental floss, two main schools of thought clash over the best time to floss! Some recommend using dental floss before brushing your teeth. This helps to remove dental plaque and food debris between teeth and allows the active ingredients in toothpaste to reach interdental spaces.

Conversely, others recommend using dental floss after brushing, when the toothbrush has removed most of the plaque, making the flossing action more effective.

My professional opinion is as follows: it doesn’t matter whether you use dental floss before or after brushing, the important thing is to use it at least once a day, preferably in the evening.

Types of Dental Floss

Waxed Dental Floss

This is a nylon thread coated with wax. The coating helps it slide between teeth and makes it easy to handle, thus reducing the risk of gum injuries. It is ideal for those who tend to have little space between their teeth.

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Unwaxed Dental Floss

This is a nylon thread, made up of several twisted strands. A common problem is that the floss tends to fray or break.

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Super Floss

This is a very thick floss with stiffened threaders at both ends. Especially suitable for people with orthodontic treatment or in the presence of implants or bridges.

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Good to Know:
Initially, using dental floss can cause slight bleeding in the interdental spaces. But after a few uses, these bleedings will disappear.

Dental Floss & Orthodontic Appliances

When wearing an orthodontic appliance such as braces, it becomes much more difficult but still very important to floss. You can easily do this with the super floss I mentioned earlier. Its stiff end allows for precise insertion between the teeth.

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