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These simple steps won't just rid your mouth of unwanted morsels—they'll help prevent gum disease and tooth decay. So don't just stand there—get flossing!
Step 1: Choose floss
Choose your floss. Waxed floss slides between the teeth easier than unwaxed floss.
If you have wide gaps between your teeth, try using tape floss, which is thicker than regular floss.
Step 2: Break off & wrap
Break off about 18 inches of the floss and wrap most of it around your index fingers, leaving about 4 inches between your hands.
Step 3: Move back & forth
Looking in your mirror to see what you're doing, move the floss gently back and forth, guiding it between two teeth.
Step 4: Clean gum line
Curve the floss around one of the teeth and, once the floss hits the gum line, gently move it back and forth, cleaning the crevice between your tooth and gum.
Step 5: Floss under gum
Carefully slide the floss up under the gum and scrape down on the side of the tooth.
Step 6: Repeat process
Curve the floss around the other tooth, gently move it back and forth, and carefully slide it up under the gum and scrape down the side of that tooth.
Step 7: Change area
Move to an adjacent space to clean, changing the area of the dental floss you are using.
Step 8: Floss until all clean
Continue to floss until you've cleaned between all of your teeth.
If you establish a pattern and follow it each time you floss, you'll be less likely to miss a tooth.
Step 9: Rinse mouth
Rinse with mouthwash or water, then bare your pearly whites to the world.
Did You Know?
People have been begrudgingly flossing for centuries—archeologists have found grooves in the teeth of some prehistoric skulls, apparently from the use of some kind of flossing material.