Q&A | Flossing Techniques and Devices

While most dental patients know that flossing is extremely important, some struggle with the process. Although traditional floss is the most common and most frequently used type of floss, there are other devices and techniques available.

Q: Why do so many people struggle with flossing?

A: Some individuals have a hard time pulling the floss through their teeth or struggle to reach the back teeth. Others can find typical floss too abrasive, or find that it frays too easily.

Q: Can you recommend any other flossing tools?

A: A floss pick may be better for some individuals. Floss picks are pieces of plastic with a curved end that holds a string of floss. At the other end of a floss stick is a pick that can be used to remove large food.

Q: What about individuals with sensitive teeth?

A: For those with sensitive teeth, ribbon floss may be more comfortable. This relatively new product is also good if teeth are too close together for floss to comfortably move through. If you need advice finding the perfect floss, find a dentist in your area.

Q: Should I floss before or after brushing?

A: Some dentists recommend flossing first, some advice brushing first. Either way is acceptable.

Q: The floss technique itself is frustrating for me. Is there an easier technique?

A: Yes. Here’s a different approach to flossing. Take a length of your floss about 10 – 12 inches. Make the floss into a circle that will allow all your fingers to just fit within it, excluding your thumbs. Double knot the floss in a circle. Now you’re ready to floss. If you still can’t figure it out, find a dentist in your area and ask about other interdental cleaning devices available.