Health Tip: How to Floss

(HealthDay News) -- Flossing every night before brushing your teeth helps protect the gums and remove debris.

The American Dental Association offers these guidelines on how to floss:

  • Using a piece of dental floss about 18 inches long, wrap each end around a finger on each hand and hold the floss between the thumbs and index fingers.

  • Gently rub the floss between teeth with a back-and-forth motion.

  • Curving the floss into a C-shape once it touches the gumline, gently slide it between the teeth.

  • With the floss held firmly against the side of the tooth, carefully slide it up and down away from the gum.

  • Do this for every tooth, taking care to floss the back side of each tooth.

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