Cleaning between the Teeth with Floss

Types of Interdental Cleaning

Brushing alone only cleans three of the five surfaces of your teeth, so it is important that you also clean between your teeth every day. As a guide, the two main types of interdental cleaning are floss and interdental brushes. Floss is described below, if you want to learn about interdental brushes click the button below.


Floss is commonly the first tried method of cleaning between the teeth.

There are several different types of dental floss or tape, including mint-flavoured, wax-coated and ones containing fluoride. Many people prefer tape to floss, as it is wider and can be gentler on the gums.

How to Floss

Starting with about 12 inches of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with.

Holding the floss tight between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth pushing it to the left and right of the space.

Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go right down to the gum edge.

If you find flossing difficult, why not try "Flossette's ™" or "Mini Flossers ™". These are plastic handles with the floss strung between the ends like a catapult or harp.

These are widely available from chemists or supermarkets.

What about bridges?

Superfloss is efficient in cleaning the areas under bridges. This is widely available and features a stiff nylon filament, a fluffy (super floss) section and normal floss on the other end.

The stiff end needs to be inserted between the teeth under the bridge.

Pull the Superfloss all the way through, and move in a gentle sweeping motion under the pontic (false tooth).

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