Why should I floss my teeth?

  • Brushing your teeth is a good way to keep them clean. When you brush there are parts of your teeth that are hard to reach. Bits of food may get stuck between the teeth.
  • Plaque can build up in your mouth. Plaque is a sticky covering on the teeth that is made up of bacteria. It needs to be removed so that cavities and gum problems do not develop.
  • Flossing will help keep your mouth clean and give you breath that smells good.

When should I floss my teeth?

  • Flossing 1 time a day will help to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
  • You should floss your teeth before you brush. Floss first to get the food out from between the teeth. Then brush your teeth to clean the food out of your mouth.

How should I floss my teeth?

  • Use about 18 inches of floss.
  • Hold the floss with your thumb and first finger. Hold it so that it is stretched tight.
  • Gently curve the floss around the bottom of each tooth. Make sure that you go under the gum line. Do not force the floss into the gums or snap it hard. Your gums can be hurt very easily.
  • Slide the floss gently up and down between your teeth. Move down the floss for each tooth. Do not reuse the same part of the floss for every tooth.
  • If you have not flossed before your gums might bleed when you start. Bleeding when you floss should stop after flossing for a few days. It your gums keep bleeding each time you floss you should call a dentist.