Most people take the time to brush their teeth twice a day, but flossing is somewhat less popular. Flossing should be part of your daily oral hygiene routine because it helps to remove food debris and bacteria from areas that you cannot reach with a toothbrush.
What is flossing and why is it so important?
Flossing involves using specially designed dental tape, also known as floss, to clean between your teeth and along your gum line. It is often impossible to clean the cracks between the teeth with a toothbrush and this means that there is a risk of food debris and bacteria gathering here. If bacteria are allowed to remain in the mouth, this can contribute to plaque formation. Plaque is the most common cause of tooth decay and gum disease.
How often should I floss?
Ideally, you should try and floss every day. This will help to ensure that your mouth is clean and free from troublesome bacteria.
It can take a little time to get used to flossing, but try not to give up. Pass the tape through the gaps between your teeth very gently and take a few minutes to clean along the gum line, where the bottom or top of the crowns of your teeth meet your gums. Never pull or tug on the floss, as this can cause damage to your gums.
There are various different types of dental floss available and we will be happy to make recommendations if you are unsure which product to buy.
Should my gums bleed when I floss?
If you have never flossed before, you may find that your gums bleed the first couple of times, but if you are used to flossing and your gums start to bleed or you experience bleeding frequently when you floss, you should see your dentist. Bleeding gums is one of the most common symptoms of gum disease.