Circle method for using dental floss

Use a piece of floss about 12 in. (30.48 cm) long. Tie the ends together, forming a loop. If the loop is too large, wrap the floss around your fingers to make it smaller.

Illustration of the circle method for using dental floss

The circle method for flossing upper teeth.

Illustration of the circle method for using dental floss.

The circle method for flossing lower teeth.

Gently work the floss between the teeth toward the gums. Curve the floss around each tooth into a U-shape, and gently slide it under the gum line. Move the floss firmly up and down several times to scrape off the plaque. Popping the floss in and out between the teeth without scraping will not remove much plaque and can hurt your gums.

Last Updated: April 23, 2009

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Steven K. Patterson, BSc, DDS, MPH - Dentist

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