How to Floss Your Teeth

How to Floss Your Teeth


Flossing is an important part of an oral hygiene routine, but research suggests that fewer than half of Americans do so daily. Flossing is simple and only takes an extra couple of minutes per day. Developing a healthy habit of flossing can prevent tooth decay and gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss.

So what is the most effective means of flossing?

  1. Take 12 to 18 inches of floss and wrap it loosely around the middle fingers of each hand.
  2. Use 2 thumbs up for the top teeth and 2 index fingers down for the lower teeth. Keeping the floss taut, gently glide the floss in between each tooth, being careful not to snap it in between the teeth. Curve the floss  against the side of each tooth, creating a “C-shape” and gently move it up and down the sides of each tooth and under the gumline.
  3. Repeat this process for each tooth.
  4. Do not forget to floss  the back of your last tooth!

How to Floss Your Teeth

Did you Know that…

there is an alternative to flossing?  The Waterpik Waterflosser has been around for many years but new research suggests that it can effectively remove plaque, stimulate the tissues and irrigate the oral cavity. It can be used in conjunction with dental floss or in place of dental floss.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I be flossing?

Yes. The ADA recommends that everyone  floss in order to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Even if you have restorations, such as crowns or veneers, good oral hygiene is essential for prolonging their use and maintaining your oral health. Ask Dr. Appelbaum or one of our hygienists about the Waterpik Waterflosser as an alternative to flossing.

What types of results should I get from flossing?

Flossing can prevent tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss – all of which can be inconvenient and expensive to treat.  A piece of floss that costs just pennies could save you thousands of dollars later on.

Is there anything else I should be doing in addition to flossing?

Yes. In addition to flossing, you should be adopting proper brushing techniques and visiting your Riverside dentist at least twice per year for examinations and professional dental cleanings. When you are regularly seen by Dr. Appelbaum we have a much better chance of catching the early signs of decay or gum disease.