Most people take the time to brush their teeth twice a day, but flossing is often overlooked. Flossing involves using dental floss, specially designed dental tape, to clean the parts of the mouth that are hard to reach with a toothbrush.
Flossing is beneficial for oral health and it helps to lower the risk of decay and gum disease. Flossing is effective because it enables you to clean areas that are hard to brush with a toothbrush, such as the cracks between the teeth and the gum line. Cleaning these areas helps to prevent bacteria from gathering and forming plaque. Plaque is a colourless film, which is the major cause of gum disease and dental decay.
When you floss your teeth, gently guide the floss through the cracks between your teeth and never pull the floss, as this can harm the gums. Try to floss once a day and ask your dentist or dental hygienist for advice if you are struggling.
What should I do if flossing makes my gums bleed?
If you have never flossed before or you haven’t flossed for a long time, your gums may bleed and this is normal. However, if you are used to flossing or you have been flossing for a while and you notice bleeding, see your dentist. Bleeding gums can be a sign of gum disease and it is best to get this checked out.