how to use dental floss

How to Use Dental Floss Correctly

Ever since you were a kid, you’ve heard the instruction to floss daily. It’s one of those habits all of us mean to be better about. But there’s no denying that flossing is a huge part of maintaining oral health.

No matter how thoroughly you brush, there are places in your mouth that your toothbrush won’t reach. The crevices between your teeth and your gums are one of those spots, and that’s where gum disease starts. Below are some tips on how to use dental floss to keep your mouth healthy.

Wind the Floss Around Your Fingers

You want to start by breaking off about eighteen inches of floss. This should leave you enough room to get a new, clean segment for each tooth. The kind of floss you use doesn’t matter so much; what’s important is that you’re doing it at all.

You’ll want to wind the floss around your middle fingers. This will leave your first fingers and thumbs free to move the floss around. Make sure to leave a one or two-inch length of floss between your two hands.

Slide It Between Your Teeth

Start by gently sliding the piece of floss between two teeth. You don’t want to snap the floss between your teeth. Just work it back and forth until it is at your gum line.

Use small scooping motions to work the piece of floss around in between your teeth and your gums. Imagine you’re scooping out small particles of food – because you are! If you start to bleed, move gently, but don’t stop; flossing regularly will keep you from bleeding in the future.

Don’t Forget the Edges

Before you remove the floss, wrap it around the side of one tooth. Make a c-like shape with the floss and slide it up and down a few times. This helps remove plaque from the sides of your teeth, helping to prevent cavities.

Make sure to repeat this on the other side as well. Slide the floss all the way up so it goes slightly underneath the gum line. You’ll want to do this several times on both sides.


Repeat this process between each tooth. You’ll want to wind the floss a little more around one finger and unwind it from the other to get a clean piece of floss each time. Make sure to do this between every tooth, including behind your back molars!

Flossing every day makes a huge difference in your oral hygiene, not to mention your overall health. Studies have actually shown that flossing helps reduce heart disease. People who floss live longer, healthier lives, so get winding now!

More About How to Use Dental Floss

There’s no way around it. Flossing is a crucial part of your oral hygiene routine. If you think flossing isn’t for you, please check out one of our articles on getting used to dentures!

If you’re looking for more information on how to use dental floss to improve your oral health, visit the rest of our site at Collaborative Dental. We love to educate and empower people with the information they need to improve or maintain the best oral hygiene possible. If you’re in the San Diego area, schedule an appointment with us today and let us put a beautiful smile on your face.