Flossing helps to remove biofilm (plaque) from in between your teeth. These are areas that your toothbrush can’t reach.

How to Floss:

  • Wrap about 18 inches of floss around the middle fingers of your hands, until your two hands are about 1 to 2 inches apart.
  • Holding the floss tightly, using your thumbs and forefingers, gently guide the floss between your teeth. Never “snap” the floss as this can cut the gums.Flossing Teeth
  • Just above the gum line, curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth. Then gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel pressure against the tooth.
  • Gently scrape the side of the tooth with the floss in an up and down motion. Repeat this procedure on the other tooth.
  • Establish a regular pattern for flossing, so that you don’t miss any of your teeth. For example, you may wish start at the top right hand side and move around to the left. Then begin on the bottom teeth.
  • After cleaning one or two teeth, rewrap the floss around your fingers so that you have clean floss to use.

Your gums may bleed and be sore for the first few days after beginning to floss. Your gums will soon become healthier and the bleeding will stop.

Don’t be discouraged with your first attempt. Flossing takes practice and after a while, it will take only a few minutes of your time. If you continue to have difficulty, ask your dental hygienist about using a commercial floss holder.

Children will require help from their parents with flossing. Most children cannot floss their own teeth properly until about the age of 10.