Proper flossing removes plaque and food particles in places where a toothbrush cannot easily reach — under the gumline and between your teeth. Because plaque build-up can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, daily flossing is highly recommended.
To receive maximum benefits from flossing, use the following proper technique:
1. Starting with about 18 inches of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with.
2. Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth.
3. Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gumline.
4. Never snap or force the floss, as this may cut or bruise delicate gum tissue.
5. Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth.
6. To remove the floss, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth.