Tips for flossing

Floss once a day. Flossing gets rid of food and plaque between the teeth, where your toothbrush cannot reach. If plaque stays between teeth, it can cause cavities or gum disease.

Floss once a day. Flossing gets rid of food and plaque between the teeth, where your toothbrush cannot reach. If plaque stays between teeth, it can cause cavities or gum disease. To floss:

  • Remove about a 45 cm (18-inch) strip of floss from the dispenser.
  • Wind the floss around the middle fingers of each hand, leaving a 2.5cm (one inch) section open for flossing. Floss the top teeth first, then the bottom.
  • Place the floss in your mouth and use your index fingers to push the floss between the teeth. Be careful not to push too hard and injure the gums.
  • Move the floss up and down against the tooth and up and around the gum line. The floss should form a C-shape around the tooth as you floss.
  • Floss between each tooth as well as behind the back teeth.
  • Use a clean section of floss as needed and take up used floss by winding it around the fingers.

What Type of Floss Should I Use?

There are two types of floss from which to choose:

  • Nylon (or multifilament) floss
  • PTFE (monofilament) floss

Nylon floss is available waxed and unwaxed, and in a variety of flavors. Because this type of floss is composed of many strands of nylon, it may sometimes tear or shred, especially between teeth with tight contact points. While more expensive, single filament (PTFE) floss slides easily between teeth, even those with tight spaces between teeth, and is virtually shred-resistant. When used properly, both types of floss are excellent at removing plaque and debris.