Brushing your teeth is something we encourage all our patients to do on a regular basis, and flossing is just as important. As an essential element of proper dental hygiene , flossing can reach all of the spots in between the teeth that merely brushing cannot. If you don’t floss, you miss cleaning 35% of tooth surface! When flossing, 18 inches should be used, and held taut between the index finger and thumb on both hands. About one to two inches of floss should be in the space separating hands, and each tooth should be flossed individually, using a zigzag motion to remove any lodged particles; as you move between teeth, a fresh section of floss should be used. Once you are finished with each section, use the floss to slide up and down the surface of the tooth, all the way up between the gum line. Flossing after every meal will help keep your teeth clean and your breath fresh.