Flossing Facts


Facts: No one type of floss is really better. Use whatever you can get. The important thing is to just use it!

Periodontal disease commonly occurs between the teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach, especially between the back teeth which are wider and harder to reach.

Flossing is a very effective way to remove plaque from those surfaces. However, it is important to develop the proper technique. The following instructions will help you, but remember it takes time and practice.

Start with a piece of floss about 18" long. Lightly wrap most of the floss around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap the rest of the floss around the middle finger of the other hand.

To clean the upper teeth, hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. To clean between the bottom teeth, guide the floss using the forefinger of both hands.

Gently insert the floss tightly between the teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Do not force the floss or try to snap it into place.

Bring the floss to the gum line then curve it into a C-shape against one tooth. Slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel light resistance. Move the floss up and down on the side of one tooth.

Remember there are two tooth surfaces that need to be cleaned in each space. Continue to floss each side of all the upper teeth.

Be careful not to cut the gum tissue between the teeth. As the floss becomes gross or shredded, turn from one finger to the other to get a fresh section.