How to: Floss Your Teeth

By Logan Traynor '16

You’ve all heard that flossing every day prevents gum disease and does all this other great stuff for your health. Well I don’t know anything about that shit but I do know that it stops your breath from smelling like you just consumed a mound of dung. No more futzing around let’s get down to business.

            The first step is to obtain a flossing utility. There are really only two options here: standard string floss or those weird prong things that have a small strip of floss between the forks (you know what I’m talking about). If you chose the weird prong things then take the bag and drop it into an incinerator. Go back to the beginning of this step. Now that you have your nifty little box, open it and rip off about a foot of floss. Grab one end with your right hand and at a comfortable length wrap the rest around your left hand. Make sure you leave enough floss between your hands so that you can actually floss. If you are a lefty I can offer you no help, you’re on your own. You are now ready to begin flossing.

            Place the string between the gaps of your teeth until you can feel it cutting against your gums. As you bring the floss down and out of the gap, twist it slightly so that it scrapes the side of your tooth. Do this once for each tooth adjacent to the gap. If you do not twist the floss then particles of flavor blasted goldfish will remain embedded in your teeth and eventually become a part of the enamel-protein complex, unable to be removed ever. It’s just Physics. Continue this process for every gap in your teeth all the while making sure you use a different section of string for each gap. By the time you finish your mouth should be bloody and your gums tender. This is normal, or maybe you have gingivitis.  If your mouth is not bloody and your gums are not tender then you already know how to floss so why the hell did you read this article? Rinse your mouth when you are done.

Real Science: The prong things are actually not a good way to floss because you are using the same piece of string for each gap. This is effectively just moving plaque from tooth to tooth and doing nothing. Unless you use a different prong for each gap but that’s just ridiculous.