Because flossing removes food debris stuck to teeth and gum, it controls bad breath and ensures gum health. Additionally, it helps fight plaque, a layer of sticky material that accumulates on and between teeth, particularly in places toothbrushes cannot reach. Because plaque contains the germ, its accumulation can contribute to gum disease over time.
To floss effectively, use either the spool or loop method. For the spool method, use a piece of floss roughly 18 inches long. Wrap most of the floss lightly around the middle finger, then wind the remaining bit around the middle finger of the opposite hand. Work the floss gently between all teeth, forming a “C” shape around them, and wind the floss as it becomes frayed.
Alternately, use the loop method, creating a loop out of 18 inches of floss and tying it with three knots. With all fingers within the loop and thumbs outside, use index fingers to work the floss through the lower teeth and thumbs to work the floss through the upper teeth.