Department of State Health Services Oral Health Group By Sally H. Finan, RDH Flossing Facts: 1. Most people think they know how to use dental floss. 2. Most people use dental floss incorrectly. 3. Most people are never taught how to use dental floss. 4. Most people do not use dental floss consistently, correctly, and EVERY DAY. Let’s try flossing together…. Wind 18" of floss around the middle fingers of each hand. Pinch floss between thumbs and index fingers, leaving a 1"- 2" length in between. Use thumbs to direct floss between upper teeth. Gently guide floss between the teeth by using a zig-zag motion. Do not snap floss between your teeth. Thumbs up for upper teeth. Pointer fingers down for lower teeth. Curve the floss around the side of the tooth. Keep the floss against the side of the tooth in a “C” shape. VERY IMPORTANT! Slide the floss all the way under the gum until you feel some resistance, then scrape down several times. Arrows show the direction to floss. Listen for a squeaky clean sound. If you don’t hear the squeak, you’re not using the floss correctly. Flossing Demonstration The next slide is a flossing demonstration. The dental floss has been tinted green to enhance the demonstration. Click your mouse to begin the demonstration below. Ask the next time you see your dental professional to show you how to floss your teeth properly. Flossing Review Use 16”-18” of dental floss. Curve the floss against the tooth, Form a “C” shape. Carefully slide the floss up under the gum and scrape down on the side of the tooth. Use dental floss consistently, every 24 hours. Remember… To return to the Division of Oral Health web site: Press the “back” button on your web browser tool bar.