An Often Overlooked Flossing Tip that Could Save you so Much Grief

When I see clients I usually ask them how often they floss. I’ve gotten so many different responses, such as:  “only when something is stuck in my teeth, before my dental visit, the last time my teeth were flossed was the last time I saw you.”


Flossing can certainly have a bit of a learning curve, but, just like riding a bike, once you get it, you’ve got it! There are a few tips and tricks we have in our back pocket to help you get there. I wrote about a really important one that you can check out here (link to another flossing tip blog). But for today’s flossing tip, I’m going to give you the easiest tip of them all. Are you ready? Here it is: Use a LOT of floss. 


If you look at flossing packs you can see how much floss they put in these packs, usually anywhere between 30- 40 meters. Meters. That’s about as long as two semi truck trailers. Now that’s a lot of floss. So, if you get that much floss, all rolled up in that tiny pack, there’s no need to be stingy with it. Pull out about an arm’s length. Yep, that much.


Why so much? Well first,  it’s because you need enough floss to wrap around your fingers (see the proper technique here) so that it doesn’t fall off. Secondly, after you floss one spot, you move the floss down your fingers so that you have a fresh spot on the floss for the next tooth. The average human adult has 28 teeth (32 if you have all 4 of your wisdom teeth)! That leaves 30 spots between the teeth to floss. And of each of those 30 spots that you need to floss, there are two sides to it. That’s a total of 60 places in your mouth that need flossing.


So how much floss is the right amount of floss? Well, roughly an arm’s length. And ya, we get it, some people’s arms are longer than others, but this is a quick and easy way to ensure you’re not cutting yourself (or the floss) short (ha!). Take the end of the floss in one hand and pull the container towards your shoulder. There, that’s about as much floss as you’ll need – give or take. 


So there you have it. When it comes to floss, more is best. Be sure to get between all your teeth, pull out about an arm’s length and make sure you wrap it around the middle fingers for the most ease when squeezing that little filament between your pearly whites.

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