Skip to main content

How to Floss Correctly

Learn how to floss correctly from Shane Methal DDS in this Howcast dental care video.


Hi, my name is Dr. Shane Methal, here at Greene Street Dental in SoHo, New York. I've been in private practice both in Maryland and consequently back in New York for the last 17 years. My office website is, that's green with an "e" at the end, and today I'm going to be talking about teeth and dentistry.

The proper technique is essential so as not to do harm to your gums. First of all, we floss to get the areas in between the teeth clean of plaque and debris, which with brushing normally will not get to. When you do floss, it's important to get between each and every tooth. What you want to do is, once the floss is between the teeth, you get below the gum line, and you pull it tight around one tooth and you can go up and down anywhere from five to ten times, stop, pull it around the adjacent tooth and go up and down five to ten times and be careful to pull the floss up and straight out. If you pull the floss out to the side, make sure you do not damage your gums. One of the biggest mistakes people make is they take the floss and they saw back and forth, side-to-side. This is a no-no, as you can do serious harm to your gums. There are different types of floss. Some are braided or rope floss. Some are coated with a wax or a Teflon and some are flat, also called ribbon. These are the easiest to use, but sometimes not the most effective. Use what works for you, and use it at least one time a day.

Popular Categories