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Flossing is an important part of maintaining good oral hygiene. Here's how to floss properly:

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Things you'll need:

  • Dental floss (string or water flosser)
  • Optional: floss holder (can be helpful if you have dexterity issues)


  1. Break off a piece of floss: Tear off about 18-24 inches of floss.
  2. Wind the floss around your fingers: Wrap most of the floss around your middle fingers on each hand, leaving a 1-2 inch section of floss taut between your thumbs and index fingers of each hand.
  3. Guide the floss between teeth: Gently slide the floss between two teeth using a sawing motion.
  4. Curve the floss around the tooth: Once the floss is between your teeth, curve it around the base of one tooth in a C-shape.
  5. Move the floss up and down: Gently rub the floss up and down the sides of the tooth, reaching beneath the gumline. Don't force the floss or snap it against your gums.
  6. Repeat for each tooth: Use a clean section of floss for each tooth space.
  7. Flossing the back teeth: You might need to adjust your hand position to floss your back teeth.

Additional tips:

  • Floss once a day, ideally before brushing.
  • If your gums bleed when you first start flossing, it's likely due to inflammation and should subside with consistent flossing.
  • If you have difficulty flossing, talk to your dentist about alternative methods for cleaning between your teeth, such as water flossers or interdental brushes.
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