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Proper Flossing Instructions

Proper Flossing Instructions


The proper flossing technique is basic. Cut off enough floss to comfortably wind around each index finger a few times, leaving about 18 inches. Wind most of that into one side, and leave yourself about 2 inches to floss between each tooth, leaving no slack.

Secure with your thumbs as you work the floss gently between your teeth, pulling against each one with a "C" motion, moving back and forth, up and down. Work methodically, avoiding any abrupt snapping.

As you work each area, ensure you use a fresh spot of floss. This means uncoiling about an inch from one hand, as you take up the slack with your other hand.

  • Use a section of floss 18 to 24 inches in length. Wind most of the floss around one of your middle fingers.

  • Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the other hand. This finger will "take up" the floss as it becomes used.

  • Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers, with about an inch of floss between them. There should be no slack. Using a gentle sawing motion, guide the floss between your teeth. Never "snap" the floss into the gums.

  • When the floss reaches the gumline, curve it into a "C"-shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel resistance.

  • Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently scrape the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum. Move the floss to the tooth on the other side of the same gap. Repeat the same process.

  • Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don't forget the back side of your last tooth.

Following these flossing instructions will purge decay-causing particles that brushing will miss. To make flossing even easier, use Glide Floss and the Floss Boss available from Dental-Mart®.

(Adapted from the American Dental Association's Basic Flossing)