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tinyfaery's avatar

Dental floss: how long should it be?

Asked by tinyfaery (41740points) February 9th, 2010

Last night, the length of dental floss I ripped off was not long enough. Then I thought to myself, what is long enough? Why does it matter? There is no appropriate length of dental floss. Why do I feel like the piece I had was not long enough?

So, how long should the dental floss be? What is the right length in your opinion.

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23 Answers

Strauss's avatar

Long enough to work the floss and not bite your fingers!

jfos's avatar

Some people will tell you that it has to be long, but the “right length” changes for each person. Different people have different preferences, bodies, and wants. I would say that the average length is about 6 inches, give or take.

Just make sure to keep it clean and nobody should really mind. And remember, as long as you’re okay with the length, it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks.

janbb's avatar

As with many things, the motion is more important than the length.

trailsillustrated's avatar

long enough for you to hang onto and get it between your teeth.

Cruiser's avatar

For a normal healthy person 8–10” should suffice. If you have health issues especially heart disease you may want longer to help prevent infections from mouth bacteria and bleeding gums. First and foremost, follow your dentists advice.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

How big are your teeth??;)

CMaz's avatar

Hold end of floss to nose. With the hand holding the “floss container”. Extend arm.
Bingo, you now have plenty.

Cut loose from container and have some fun!.

JLeslie's avatar

Years ago my dentist showed me how to hold and maneuver my dental floss. Seems I did not have a good technique previously. Once I got that down the legnth fell into place.

TheLoneMonk's avatar

Take the worry out of length with this Flosser. I’ve been using this for a few years and my gums have made a huge comeback.

TheJoker's avatar

How longs a piece of string?

Judi's avatar

it sounds like you are doing a bit of“over thinking.” Have a lot of time on your hands lately?

jfos's avatar

@TheJoker Speaking of a piece of string…. A piece of string walks into a bar and orders a beer. The bartender replies, “I’m sorry we don’t serve pieces of string here.” Upset, the piece of string goes home and combs his hair to make himself look smarter. When he returns the the bar, he tries to order a beer again. The bartender, looking a little confused, says, “Hey wait a minute, weren’t you a piece of string earlier?” The string replies, “I’m a frayed knot!”
I think you can use 5 inches or 10 inches or 18 inches, depending on how much floss you’re going to use! I would shoot for using less, because you can always grab more.

john65pennington's avatar

My wife is the queen of dental floss. she leaves strings here, there, everywhere. we finally had a serious discussion about her “string affair”. now, her strings can be found in just about every pocket of every jacket she owns. at least, the strings are out of my car and out of site. about 7 inches of dental floss for her. throughout her lifetime , if we had saved each string, we could have made a decent-size snowman.

TheJoker's avatar

@jfos….. Hehehehehe, I tried knot to laugh at that…. to no avail :)

TheJoker's avatar

Have you tried Interdental Brushes instead? I find them to be much better than floss.

erichw1504's avatar

Stop worrying about how long floss should be and get floss picks instead!

deni's avatar

When I used “floss” back in the olden days, I used a super long piece and wrapped it around both fingers like twenty times so I could pull it real tight. Then I moved on to bigger and better things, the floss picks that @erichw1504 mentioned. I never looked back.

JLeslie's avatar

You don’t have to wind it around your finger 20 times. Just a couple times around your index finger, and then use your thumbs to push it up in-between your upper teeth, or middle fingers for lower teeth, it creates more leverage or something.

phil196662's avatar

Everyone is different but my measurement that works for everyone I suggest is the length from your elbow to the end of your finger. as you work you should move your fingers to a fresh piece of floss every few teeth so it’s clean, unused so you don’t take dirt and bacteria to the next set of teeth and the fresh part will have plenty of wax so it slides good.

Only one set of teeth and floss is cheap

erichw1504's avatar

Long enough for MacGyver to zip-line across two buildings.

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Strauss's avatar

…Raisin’ it up, Waxen it down, In a little white box That I can sell uptown…By myself I wouldn’t Have no boss, But I’d be raisin’ my lonely Dental Floss…(Frank Zappa)~

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