Flossing is a simple oral hygiene procedure which is equally important as brushing because it reaches the surfaces where a brush cannot. When performed daily, can ensure healthy gums and teeth that last a lifetime.

Initally people feel that flossing is not easy thing to do, But once you start doing it you'll find that it is not that difficult and a must for ensuring good oral hygine. Flossing the front part of your mouth is easy and does not pose any difficulty. It is the rear area of the mouth that poses the challenge and is the toughest part to reach because the fingers have to extend further into the mouth. It's easy to put your index finger on the cheek side and touch your rear tooth. Putting your index finger in the middle of your mouth (tongue part), to touch the rear tooth, is more difficult because your front teeth are almost touching your knuckles. To put the fingers of both hands in your mouth at the same time, as required in flossing, is very difficult; your jaw can only expand so far and your mouth can only stretch so far.

Take a piece of floss (12-18 inches), and wind it around the index finger of each hand.

Grasp floss firmly between the thumb and index finger arriving at the flossing position.The fingers are separated by about an inch.

Use the thumbs to guide the floss between the upper teeth and use the index fingers to direct the floss between the lower teeth.

Using a gentle sawing motion, guide the floss between your teeth. Never snap the floss into the gums.

Curve floss around the tooth.Gently slide the floss up and down the side of the tooth and under gumline.

Advance floss, after cleaning each side of tooth, by wrapping the floss around the finger of one hand, and unwrapping it on the other. Assume the flossing position,and continue to floss the side of each tooth until done.

Nowdays many floss holders are available in the market which have made flossing a much easier method of cleaning the interdental space of teeth.

The two most important aspects of flossing are: wrapping the floss around the tooth and using a new section of floss for each contact. Wrapping allows the floss to go below the gumline, to remove plaque in areas that a toothbrush doesn't reach. Using a new section of floss allows the plaque to be removed. If the same section is used, the bacteria is redistributed to other areas.
The standard floss holder is ‘Y' shaped and looks like a slingshot or forked prong device, where the floss is strung tight between the two prongs (there are many variations, see photograph above). The advantage of using a floss holder is the accessibility it affords to otherwise inaccessible areas.The limitation is that the floss cannot wrap around or confirm to the tooth. The 'tightened' floss can cut the gumline in the front and back of the tooth where it rises.