The Importance of Flossing: Cleaning Between Teeth

Most of us are aware of the importance of brushing, but studies show that very few people floss. Flossing is essential because it cleans between the teeth, removing food debris and bacteria from areas that you can’t clean with a brush.

Why is flossing so important?

Flossing plays an influential role in good oral health because it helps to remove bacteria and bits of food from areas of the mouth that cannot be reached with a brush. When you’re cleaning your teeth, it’s not possible to fit the bristles in the tiny cracks between the teeth, and this leaves you vulnerable to decay and gum disease. If bacteria and food debris are left in the mouth, they can combine with saliva to form plaque. Flossing boosts your oral health and it can also help to prevent bad breath.

How often should I floss?

Daily flossing is recommended as part of a good oral hygiene regime. Floss after brushing to complete cleaning. If you feel like you’ve got food stuck in your teeth, it’s also a good idea to floss between meals.

How to floss

Flossing is very simple, but if you’ve never done it before, you may find it a little awkward to begin with. Take a short piece of dental tape and gently guide it through the cracks between the teeth. Take a new piece and continue until you have cleaned the whole of the mouth. When you floss, take care to be very gentle, and don’t pull at the tape, as this can harm your gums.

Is it normal for my gums to bleed?

If you’ve never flossed before or you haven’t flossed for a long time, you may find that your gums bleed the first couple of times. If you notice your gums bleeding when you brush or they start to bleed when you floss, and you are used to flossing on a regular basis, call your dentist. Bleeding gums can be a sign of gum disease, and it’s best to get checked out.

If you have questions about flossing or you need some helpful advice or tips, don’t hesitate to get in touch!