Keep Your Gums Healthy: Tips for Flossing
Gum disease, which is caused by germs, can make your teeth fall out. To get rid of these germs and save your teeth, brush twice a day and floss at least once a day.1
To floss your teeth:
Use about 18 inches of floss. Wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Put the rest around your opposite middle finger. As you use the floss, transfer it little by little to this finger.2
Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and first fingers.2
Gently guide the floss between your teeth. Use a rubbing motion. Snapping the floss into your gums can harm them.2
When you get down to the gum, curve the floss into a C shape against one tooth. Slide it gently into the space between the gum and the tooth.2
Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub up and down against the side of the tooth.2
Repeat for each tooth. Remember to floss the back side of your back teeth.2
1“Cleaning Your Teeth and Gums.” Oral Health TOpics, American Dental Association, March 14, 2005. www.ada.org/2624.aspx Accessed 2010.
2“How to Floss.” American Dental Association, 2008. www.ada.org/sections/publicResources/pdfs/watch_materials_floss.pdf Accessed 2010.
Online Medical Reviewer:
Eakle, Stephan W., DDS
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