You know flossing is crucial for good oral hygiene, but do you know how to floss your teeth correctly? If not, keep reading as we explain how it works step-by-step.

Watch on YouTube: “Melbourne Denitst – Learn how to Floss”
Video Courtesy: Dr. Annie

1. Cut Enough Floss

  • Break off about 18 to 24 inches of floss from the dispenser. This may seem like a lot.
  • However, it’s better to have enough on the first pull than to cut another piece.

Cutting the right size of dental floss

Choose the Right Length of Dental Floss

2. Secure the Floss Between Your Fingers

  • Wrap most of the floss around one of your index or middle fingers.
  • Wind the rest around the same finger on the other hand.
  • Hold it between your thumbs and index fingers.

Dental floss secrured between the fingers

Floss Wrapped Around the Index Fingers

3. Gently Guide the Floss Between Your Teeth

  • Learning how to floss teeth correctly comes down to the motions.
  • Gently slide the floss in between your teeth using a back-and-forth motion.
  • Get it around the base of each tooth, beneath the gum line.
  • Don’t snap the floss through.

Back & Forth motion of flossing


Gentle Back and Forth Motion for Flossing

4. Floss Around Each Tooth

  • Curve the floss around each tooth in a C shape.
  • Move it up and down against the side of the tooth and repeat on the rest of your teeth.
  • Don’t forget to floss your rear molars.

Woman flossing around her teeth

Girl Flossing Between her Teeth

5. Discard the Floss and Rinse Your Mouth

  • When learning how to floss teeth properly, an important step is floss disposal.
  • Don’t use the same piece twice, as this will only hurt your oral hygiene.
  • Instead, throw away the floss and rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash to wash away the food particles.

Mouth Rinse after flossing

Mouth Rinse after Flossing


Studies recommend flossing first and then brushing.

This is more efficient in removing plaque and preventing bad breath.

Plus, it can help more of the toothpaste’s fluoride penetrate between your teeth. [2]

The American Dental Association suggests brushing twice and flossing once a day.

Some people prefer to floss after each meal. However, once a day is enough to reap the benefits of flossing your teeth. [3]

Knowing how to floss your teeth is not enough. You should also pick suitable floss. The main types of floss are:

  • Nylon: Multifilament floss made of soft threads of nylon. It’s thin and easy to grip, but it tears easily.
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE): Monofilament floss made of Teflon. It’s tear-resistant and easy-to-use, but more expensive.

If you don’t like flossing, there are alternatives like:

  • Water flossers
  • Dental floss pick
  • Interdental brushes

Start Flossing For Healthier Teeth

Now that you know how to floss your teeth correctly, you can improve your oral hygiene.

Make sure to visit a dentist regularly to keep your teeth healthy.

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