How to Floss Safely and Pain-Free

Flossing is one of the best things you can do to keep your teeth healthy, but only if you floss correctly. Here’s the American Dental Association’s guide on how to floss your teeth to gain the benefits of flossing without the pain.

Remember, it’s better to correctly floss once a day than to floss badly many times.

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 becomes dirty.


Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.


Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Never snap the floss into the gums.


When the floss reaches the gum line, 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 rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget the back side of your last tooth.