The Importance of Daily Flossing

Daily dental flossing forms part of an oral hygiene regimen for keeping the mouth clean and healthy. Flossing maintains healthy teeth and gums for a beautiful smile.

Removing plaque

Getting between hard-to-reach dental contours, floss removes debris that sticky plaque may adhere to. When plaque builds up between teeth and the gum line, it may cause bacteria to over-colonise, triggering the start of tooth decay and gum disease.

Dental floss ensures food debris, plaque and bacteria are removed for good oral health. If left, these agents cause rotting in the mouth, smelly breath and raise the risk of oral trauma, leading to tooth loss. Ideally, teeth should be flossed after meals and when teeth are brushed in the morning and before bedtime.

There are a range of flosses or dental tapes at various shop outlets that may be used as part of a daily oral cleansing schedule. The dentist or dental hygienist may advise on what dental cleaning instruments are most suitable, particularly for those with dexterity problems.

Flossing technique

Take about 18 inches of floss, with sections enough for each tooth along a dental arch. Wrap the dental floss section between the index fingers and slide between the teeth, back and forwards and along the gum line. Think of the motion as making a C shape, scraping debris from the surrounds of the each tooth.

Be gentle and use separate sections of the 18 inch floss for each tooth along the arch. If you started with the upper arch, get a new 18 inch of floss to do the lower arch of teeth one by one. Work in a pattern from side to side, not missing any teeth out so that all are cleaned.

Some bleeding during flossing is normal, however persistent bleeding should be checked by a dentist as it may be a sign of gum disease.