Instructions for Use of Dental Floss

The use of dental floss has become part of oral care, in addition to correct, more frequent, and longer tooth brushing. Floss can be purchased in a variety of thicknesses and types and with or without a layer of wax. If there is sufficient space between the front and back teeth, it is advisable to use the somewhat thicker tape rather than the thinner floss.


Take approximately 40 cm of floss and wind the ends loosely around the middle fingers. Allow for 10 cm between the middle fingers. Then, hold the floss taut between the thumb and first finger so that roughly 3 cm remains between the thumbs. Alternatively a loop or circle of dental floss can be created.

Using a sawing movement, allow the tightly stretched piece of floss to pass between the contact of the front and back teeth. This action might be difficult where the teeth are so close together that the space between them is limited. Avoid allowing the floss to slip so quickly between the teeth because through this “snapping” the gums may be damaged.

Stretch the floss in a “U” shape around one of the teeth, press firmly against the side of the tooth surface and carefully allow the floss to pass just under the gum, once again with a sawing movement.

Draw the floss up to the contact point with a sawing movement, and then repeat the process on the other tooth bordering the space filled with gum tissue. Remove the floss from between the teeth, once again with a sawing movement, and repeat this process for all of the other spaces in the mouth.

Use a clean piece of floss for each separate space by unwinding part of it from around one middle finger while winding it around the other middle finger. Do not worry if at first your gums bleed slightly. This bleeding will stop after using the floss a number of times. Do not give up!