Mayo Clinic Health Library

Tooth flossing 101

Updated: 06-30-2011

Don't skip flossing. Flossing is the most effective way to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth. Get about 18 inches of floss. Wind most of the floss around the middle finger on one hand, and the rest around the middle finger on the other hand, leaving about 1 inch to floss your first tooth. Use your thumbs and forefingers to gently pull the floss from the gumline to the top of the tooth to scrape off plaque. Rub the floss against all sides of the tooth. Unwind to fresh floss as you floss each tooth.

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