With a shelf full of choices available - tape, coated, flavored, Gore-Tex, nylon, cotton - dental floss is no longer "just" dental floss.
The type of floss you should choose depends on how tightly or loosely spaced your teeth are.
If you have a lot of space between your teeth, we recommend using tape floss, which is made of cloth. For tighter spaced teeth the best choice is Gore-Tex (the same material used for high-tech rain gear) or nylon.
In addition, there are pre-made flossing aids available, which are convenient and can work as well as regular floss if used properly. However, you need to be careful not to stab or traumatize your gums with the pointed "pick" side.
You should floss daily. To get started:
- Pull about 12 to 18 inches of floss off the spool.
- If you are left-handed, wrap most of the floss around your left middle finger and then one loop around your right middle finger.
- Balance 2 inches of the floss between your thumbs.
- Place the floss between two teeth and snap it down.
- Proceed around your mouth from the left to the right side (the top and bottom), following the same pattern as brushing.
If your gums bleed during flossing that could be a sign of bacteria along the gum line. After a few days of regularly brushing and flossing, the bleeding should stop. However, if the bleeding continues, you should contact your dentist - as this may be a sign of a more advanced type of gum disease.
Combining flossing with brushing your teeth every day should promote healthy teeth and gums.