For a little guidance on helping your family floss like a professional, we went to some of our favorite professionals. Here’s what the American Dental Hygienists’ Association offers as the key elements of proper flossing technique—in four simple steps. They even rhyme!

*Wind. Guide. Glide. Slide.*

  • Wind: Wind 18 inches of floss around the middle fingers of each hand. Pinch floss between your thumbs and index fingers, leaving a one- to two-inch length in between. Use your thumbs to direct the floss between upper teeth.
  • Guide: Keep a one- to two-inch length of floss taut between fingers. Use your index fingers to guide the floss between contacts of the lower teeth.
  • Glide: Gently guide the floss between the teeth by using a zig-zag motion. DO NOT SNAP FLOSS BETWEEN YOUR TEETH. Contour the floss around the side of the tooth.
  • Slide: Slide the floss up and down against the tooth surface and under the gum line. Floss each tooth thoroughly with a clean section of floss.

Correct flossing will help you remove excess food particles and plaque buildup between your teeth and improve your oral health. So remember—wind, guide, glide, slide, and tell plaque who’s the boss of your smile!

Want more help caring for your kid’s smile? Check out this fun video with top tips from a trio of talented teeth!

Visit Every Kid’s Dentist® to find a trusted pediatric dentist near you.