Few people really enjoy flossing. But if you don't floss, you're only doing half the job of cleaning your teeth and gums. Flossing cleans away plaque and bits of food from between your teeth and below the gum line. It gets places your brush can't reach. It’s best to floss once a day.
Break off 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the rest around the same finger of the other hand.
Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and index fingers. Leave about an inch between them.
Use a gentle sawing motion to get the floss between your teeth. Never snap the floss into the gums.
When you get the floss to the gum line, curve it into a C-shape against one tooth. Scrape up and down on the sides of each tooth to remove plaque.
As floss gets worn and dirty, move to a clean section and continue. Don't forget the backsides of your rear teeth.
When you're done brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth with water.
If you have arthritis in your hands, trouble moving your fingers, or if you have bridgework in your mouth, a floss holder might help. Ask your dentist about tools to make flossing easier for you.