Flossing is a dental care routine that prevents bacteria from building up between your teeth. This helps prevent health issues such as cavities, periodontal disease, and tooth decay. For the best results, use the proper technique as recommended by dentists.

A Guide to Flossing with Perfect Technique

1. Floss Each Evening

Dentists recommend flossing once every 24 hours, so floss after you brush each evening. The evening is ideal, as the hours you spend sleeping offer an opportunity for food left in the mouth to fuel bacteria growth. The floss will catch any leftover food debris from the day that the toothbrush missed, so you go to bed with clean teeth.

2. Buy the Right Floss


Always look for the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, which indicates the product has been evaluated by professionals and found to be effective. If your teeth are close together, choose a thin floss. 

A thicker floss or a wide dental tape is better for those with larger spaces between their teeth. If you find that your floss regularly tears while you use it, look for waxed nylon, which has a wax coating to prevent tearing.

3. Use the “C” Technique

Holding the floss taut between the thumb and forefinger of each hand, bring the floss down between two teeth. Pull both hands in one direction so the floss cups in a “C” shape around a tooth, then gently rub up and down a few times. Do this in the other direction to target the other tooth, then move to the next space. This technique targets the entire tooth, top to bottom and around the curvature. 

4. Don't Reuse It

Once a piece or section of floss is used, it may have debris and bacteria on it, which should not be reintroduced to the mouth. Use a piece about 18 inches long each time you floss, wrapping most of it around one forefinger. You can then unwind it and wind the used floss around the other finger as you work, so you're always working with a fresh section. Throw it away when you're done. 

5. Consider a Water Flosser

Water flossers work like a power washer for the mouth, which can be used in lieu of flossing. They are ideal for those without dexterity in their fingers, who have orthodontia, or who don't enjoy traditional flossing. The pressurized stream of water flushes out all debris and bacteria as you target it between your teeth and along the gumline.


If you still need more clarity on the proper technique for flossing, the team at Elberta Dental will be happy to show you how it's done. This dentist serves patients throughout Baldwin County, AL, with personalized and gentle care. They offer comprehensive services for whatever you need for a healthy and confident smile, from routine cleanings to teeth whitening. Learn more on their website and call (251) 986-3500 to schedule an appointment.