The most significant impediment to flossing has typically been the floss. It breaks, shreds, and gets stuck. Glide is the floss I recommend (Glide, Glider Threader Floss for bridges and braces, Glider Floss Picks [below]).

Three Impediments to Flossing

  • Which floss: the easiest floss is Glide.
  • How you hold it: middle fingers.
  • When you floss: most people try to at bedtime. It’s often easier to get done every day when done in the morning.
dental flossing

How often to floss? We all heard to floss once a day, but the bacteria are growing between teeth just like those areas you brush – would you brush only once a day? Ideally, flossing is most effective when done at the same frequency as brushing. So, if you brush, floss too! At the very minimum, floss the lower front teeth every brushing (this is where tartar typically forms most).

  • Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers.
  • Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will take up the floss as it collects plaque or shreds.
  • Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers. Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle back and forth rubbing motion. Never snap the floss into the gums.
  • When the floss reaches the gumline, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.
  • Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently move the floss away from the gum with up and down motions to clean above and below the gumline.
  • Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget the back side of your last tooth.
  • People who have difficulty handling dental floss may prefer to use aids that include floss holders, special brushes, picks or sticks. Additionally, a Waterpik can be very helpful. It does not replace flossing, but it is much better than not flossing. For many people, both flossing and a Waterpik are indicated.
  • GLIDE THREADER, floss threaders for under bridges, splints, and/or braces.