Do you really need to floss?

The simple answer to this question is no – but you do need to clean between your teeth.

Flossing is just one way that you can do this effectively at home, but it’s certainly not the only method available.

Cleaning between your teeth is vital. Plaque and bits of food can easily get stuck in the gaps between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach, and can lead to tooth decay or gum disease if not removed.

If dental floss isn’t for you, try switching to a dental tape, which can be easier to manoeuvre between your teeth, or ask your dental team to show you the correct technique. Alternatively, you can try another method, such as using interdental brushes or an air or water flosser.

We recommend cleaning between your teeth at least once a day, either in the morning or before you go to bed. Whether you do this before or after you brush is completely up to you! Take your time and make sure you give each tooth a thorough clean.

If your gums bleed or feel sensitive when you clean between your teeth, don’t be tempted to stop doing it. Regular flossing can actually improve your gum health, and with perseverance and the correct technique, any bleeding should soon stop. If bleeding continues after you routinely clean between your teeth for a week, speak to your dental team as soon as possible.

Once you’ve got the hang of it, cleaning between your teeth is easy, and can go a long way towards preventing future dental problems and gum disease. If you’re worried about the way you’re looking after your teeth and gums at home, let your dental team know your concerns – that’s what they’re there for!

Published: July 4th, 2014

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Cleaning between your teeth is vital