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How to Floss Your Back Teeth

HomeCavity PreventionHow to Floss Your Back Teeth

Woman flossing her teeth

At Edgewater Dental Arts, we work hard to educate our patients on the importance of establishing a good oral care routine at home. Preventive care is a proven way to manage and even eliminate the risk of many dental conditions. For this reason, we recommend our patients brush their teeth twice daily for two minutes each time as well as floss each day. Flossing, while often overlooked, is just as important as brushing your teeth. Today, we want to talk about flossing and share some techniques for cleaning those hard-to-reach back molars.

Why is Flossing Important?

When you brush your teeth without flossing, you’re only cleaning part of your tooth. Your toothbrush can reach the front, back, and flat surface of your tooth, but what about the sides? That’s where floss comes in – it reaches that 40% of your tooth that can’t be cleaned by a toothbrush. Floss removes bacteria before it has a chance to build up and become plaque or even tartar – which helps prevent tooth decay and eventual tooth loss.

How Should You Floss?

To floss, grab around 18 to 24 inches of dental floss, wrap the ends around your index and middle fingers, and use the floss in a back and forth and up and down motion against the side of each tooth to clean the surface. If the idea of conventional floss is boring, check out the many flossing gadgets on the market – from floss threaders to floss picks to the Waterpik, you have plenty of options!

What About Those Back Teeth?

When you’re flossing, be sure not to forget about those back molars! Although they are hard to reach, it is incredibly important to make sure they are clean, as sneaky pockets of bacteria may form behind them. While it may take some maneuvering, the longer your piece of floss is, the easier it is to reach your back teeth. The flossing tools mentioned above can also help you floss your back teeth with ease. Don’t neglect your back molars because they’re can be more difficult to floss; the knowledge that you’ve done all you can to prevent tooth decay is certainly worth it.

To ask our friendly team any additional questions about flossing your back teeth, or to schedule your next appointment, contact us today!

Written by

John Cutting, DMD is an Annapolis dentist experienced in all aspects of dentistry. He provides complete care from general dentistry to cosmetic and restorative dentistry in his conveniently located and comfortable office, Edgewater Dental Arts.