Flossing Steps | MouthHealthy - Oral Health Information from the ADA

Flossing Steps

5 Steps to a Flawless Floss

We know we should floss at least once a day, but not everyone knows the right way to do it. Use this step-by-step guide to find out how to properly floss your teeth:

Step 0ne

Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty.

An illustration depicting step 1 of flossing teeth.

Step Two

Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.

An illustration depicting step 2 of flossing teeth.

Step Three

Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Never snap the floss into the gums.

An illustration depicting step 3 of flossing teeth.

Step Four

When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.

An illustration depicting step 4 of flossing teeth.

Step Five

Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget the back side of your last tooth.

An illustration depicting step 5 of flossing teeth.

Once you’re finished, throw the floss away. A used piece of floss won’t be as effective and could leave bacteria behind in your mouth.

Talk to your dentist about what types of oral care products will be most effective for you. Look for products that contain the ADA Seal of Acceptance so you know they have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness.

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