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How to Use Dental Floss
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How to Use Dental Floss

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  • 1. By Sally H. Finan, RDH Department of State Health Services Oral Health Group How to Use Dental Floss
  • 2. Flossing Facts:
    • Most people think they know how to use dental floss.
    • Most people use dental floss incorrectly.
    • Most people are never taught how to use dental floss.
    • Most people do not use dental floss consistently, correctly, and EVERY DAY.
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. 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.
  • 5. Curve the floss around the side of the tooth. Keep the floss against the side of the tooth in a “C” shape. Slide the floss all the way under the gum until you feel some resistance, then scrape down several times. Listen for a squeaky clean sound. If you don’t hear the squeak, you’re not using the floss correctly. VERY IMPORTANT! Arrows show the direction to floss.
  • 6. Flossing Demonstration The next slide is a flossing demonstration. The dental floss has been tinted green to enhance the demonstration.
  • 7. 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.
  • 8. 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… Just floss the ones you want to keep
  • 9. To return to the Division of Oral Health web site: Press the “back” button on your web browser tool bar.