flossing guide

Flossing Guide Every Patient Needs

Dr Devine Oral Health

flossing guideServing Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN

You are probably no stranger to the concept of dental floss. You know, that waxy coated string meant to clean between your teeth? While people have been flossing their teeth for decades, surprisingly many people are doing it all wrong! Nashville dentist, Dr. Brian Devine of Devine Dentistry, is here to tell us how to floss our teeth properly so that we can reap the benefits of this oral hygiene routine.


When it comes to flossing, any brand or type will do. Either choose your favorite or whatever you can get your hands on. The most important thing is that you actually floss every day, not just when you feel something between your teeth.

Here is how to floss correctly:

  1. Break off a strand of floss about 18 inches long.
  2. Wrap it around each pointer finger.
  3. Begin in the back of your mouth, force the floss gently between your teeth.
  4. Move the floss in a zigzag motion, scooping it along the edges of your teeth and along the gum line.
  5. Repeat this between each tooth, wrapping the dirty floss onto one pointer finger, until all teeth have been flossed.
  6. Use a floss threader to reach areas such as under a permanent bridge or orthodontics.

Avoid the urge to pop the floss in and out of your teeth. This can injure your gums, and cause them to bleed. If you do, however, notice some bleeding when you floss and are following the steps listed above, your gums are probably just not used to it. Keep at it, and within a few days or so, your gums should toughen up and stop bleeding. If not, be sure to schedule an appointment to see your dentist at Devine Dentistry.

What can I use instead of floss?

We understand that some of you will never be all that into flossing. In these instances, there are other forms of cleaning the interproximal areas of your teeth and gums. Here is a look at some other handy-dandy tools that may help you accomplish the task without using traditional string floss.

Floss Picks

Floss picks have a toothpick at one end and floss at the other. They are ideal for on the go flossing or for those who do not like to mess with all the gunk as the string floss gets wrapped around their finger. Just be careful with using floss picks as they can be a bit more difficult to slide between your teeth. Avoid popping the floss pick, but instead gently glide it between your teeth. You may want to stop periodically and wipe off or rinse your floss pick to remove collected food debris.

Water Flossers

Water flossers work by gently forcing water between your teeth as it rinses away food particles and debris. These electric or battery powered devices come in a variety of sizes, and with varying price tags. Choose one based on your need and storage availability at home. A countertop option may be ideal since you will be using it every day. Or, a small travel sized option may be better to save on space.

Oral Care in Nashville

While we at Devine Dentistry think that string floss is the cheapest, and easiest way to go, you can certainly take your pick of devices that will help you clean between your teeth. If you would like more information about flossing or oral care in Nashville, contact Devine Dentistry by calling (615) 269-4209 to schedule a consultation.

Devine Dentistry is proud to serve patients living in the areas of Belle Meade, Green Hills and Nashville in Tennessee.