Flossing is often overlooked, but it is actually very important. Ideally, we recommend flossing on a daily basis.
Flossing is the act of passing dental floss through the cracks between the teeth; dental floss is specially designed thin dental tape, which cleans areas of the mouth by removing trapped food and bacteria. Flossing is really important because it cleans areas that you can’t reach with a brush when you are cleaning your teeth; flossing is particularly effective at cleaning the tiny gaps between the teeth and the area between the teeth and gums, known as the gum line.
Flossing for the first time
Flossing can take a little getting used to and it may feel odd and slightly painful the first couple of times; however, you will soon get the hang of flossing and persisting will be worth your while. If you need any help or tips, don’t hesitate to ask our dentists or dental hygienists.
When you floss, it’s important to be gentle and to guide the floss through the gaps between the teeth. Never force or pull the floss, as this can damage your gums.
If you notice bleeding when you first start flossing, this is normal; however, if you notice bleeding when you brush your teeth or your gums bleed and you are used to flossing, this may be a sign of gum disease and it’s best to arrange to see your dentist.
What are the benefits of flossing?
Flossing is an effective means of reducing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay by removing bacteria and food debris before they can combine to form plaque. Plaque is a sticky film, which is made from saliva, food particles and bacteria and it is the main risk factor for both gum disease and cavities.
Flossing also helps to prevent surface staining and it polishes the surfaces of the teeth, which are commonly missed when you brush your teeth.