Add flossing to your daily dental routine and you’ll experience a cleaner, healthier smile. Most people either forget about flossing or put it low on their list of priorities because they are unaware of the importance or unsure how to do it correctly. But flossing helps clean the gaps between your teeth so that you're less likely to get gum infections or cavities from bacteria build-up. And with improved dental health, you may avoid the large bills that come with expensive dental procedures.
The tiny gaps that a toothbrush can't reach make a perfect hiding place for food particles and bacteria. If they're allowed to remain there for a long period of time, these bacteria can start to destroy gum tissue as well as the bones and ligaments that support teeth. Flossing removes bacteria and food particles from between teeth.
If you've never tried it before flossing can be a bit fiddly and, when you first start out, it can make your gums bleed a little but this will lessen or stop overtime. Floss is available in many different sizes, coatings and flavours. You can experiment with different ones to find a favourite.
See below for some tips on how to floss.
- Take about a 30cm piece of dental floss and wrap one end around each of your middle fingers.
- Using your thumps and index fingers as guides, gently slide the floss between two teeth, using a saw-like motion
- Once at the gum line, wrap the floss to form a C shape against one of the two teeth. Slide it up and down against the tooth.
- Be careful not to snap the floss between teeth. Next, wrap the floss against the other tooth and repeat the up-down motion.
- Be very gentle and try not to scrape the floss too hard against your gums. Repeat this wherever two teeth are touching.