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How to Use Dental Floss Painlessly and Effectively

Dental Floss is the most valuable tool in fighting gum disease. It is also the least popular.

Most hate to floss. It can be messy and may hurt your fingers and your gums. Flossing is not easy at first.

However, there is no better way to clean between your teeth and under your gums. So... don't give up:)

Once you get past the how to floss learning curve and the sore gum stage, you will be flossing for life.

A sense of awareness is important. When you become aware of the plaque on your teeth you will be more excited about flossing.

A few flossing tips before you start...

  • Wrap the floss around your middle fingers and use your index fingers and thumbs to help guide and wrap the floss around each tooth.
dental floss


  • Try to keep the section of floss that you are using short. About one inch or less is ideal. You will have better control.


  • While learning, start with your front teeth and gradually work your way to the molars.


  • Choose the best dental floss for you. Some types of floss are easier to use than others.

Here's how to floss...

Dental floss should wrap around each tooth and slide between your tooth and gum. If you don't wrap the floss around your tooth, you won't be able to slide it between the tooth and gum and are more likely to cut your gums.

  • Use a back and forth "sawing" motion only to get the floss between your teeth.
  • Once you feel it pop between your teeth, stop sawing!
  • Wrap it around one tooth and slide the floss up and down...no more back and forth motion.
  • After you clean one tooth, wrap the floss around the other tooth and clean it by sliding your floss up and down.
  • Pop it back out---you can use a sawing motion again to pop it out--if you like, and move to the next contact.

Floss threaders

A floss threader makes it possible to floss while in dental braces. These clever gadgets are also used for flossing under fixed bridges.

Floss threaders can be tedious to use but are worth the extra effort. Once you thread under your bridge or orthodontic wire, floss as usual. Floss threaders are also helpful when food gets stuck in these areas.

Super floss

Super floss is also used for flossing around dental braces and under fixed bridges. It is one long piece of floss with three sections:

  1. a stiff plastic end that is used for threading under a bridge or orthodontic wires.
  2. a thick yarn-like section of woven dental floss that is soft and comfy on your gums
  3. regular unwaxed floss

You know what they say about an ounce of prevention. It's extra  true for gum disease. Flossing is easier and more effective if you start before gum disease progresses.

Next ~ Choose the right floss

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