Toothbrush and floss

Photo: Nigel Cox

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Day 23: Clean to Protect
Not flossing doesn't just spell bad news for your mouth—bacteria there can make it into your bloodstream. Yet only about half of Americans floss regularly, and many of us do it incorrectly. New York prosthodontist Jonathan Levine shows us all the right moves:

1. Wrap 18 inches of floss around your middle fingers. Push the floss through the tight space between two teeth (called the contact).

2. Hook the floss around one tooth in a C shape and slide it under the gum line. Then move it back and forth over the tooth's surface, in a motion similar to shining a shoe.

3. Before you pull the floss back through the contact, slide under the neighboring tooth's gum line and repeat the shoe-shining motion.

Look What We Found!
Nothing trumps manual flossing, but Philips Sonicare AirFloss lets you point and shoot plaque away with minimal effort. To use, fill the side chamber with water or mouthwash, rest the tip between two teeth, and press a button: A microshot of liquid blasts away biofilm, letting you floss your whole mouth in just 60 seconds.