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West Bowmanville Family Dental Blog

The Facts and Fiction about Flossing

Did you realize you should be flossing every day to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy? You probably do. However, lots of people are still confused about flossing so we thought we’d separate the facts from fiction.

Flossing is only necessary when I have something stuck between my teeth
It’s true that flossing is the most effective way to get rid of food trapped in between your teeth. However, it’s not the only reason why you should floss each day. When you floss, it removes dental plaque caught between your teeth. If you don’t remove plaque regularly, the toxins it produces can quickly inflame your gums, increasing your risk of gum disease and tooth decay in Newcastle.

Flossing is hard to do
Lots of people find it tricky to floss thoroughly, but it’s often because they have never been shown the correct techniques. If this sounds familiar, ask our friendly dental team for help improving your flossing skills next time you visit our dental office in Clarington. Also, there are other ways to floss as you don’t need to use a traditional dental floss. For example, a floss holder is a Y-shaped device with a small piece of dental floss between the prongs. It can be easier to manipulate because you can hold it with just one hand. Alternatively, try using interdental brushes or a Water Pik. All these tools can make flossing much easier and more effective.

It’s too painful to floss
When done correctly, flossing shouldn’t be painful provided your gums are healthy and strong. However, flossing may hurt if your gums are infected and inflamed. If you do find it painful to floss, please book a checkup with us here at West Bowmanville Family Dental. We can talk about your flossing techniques and can examine your gums, and if necessary, will treat any symptoms of dental disease like gum disease.

Flossing makes my gums bleed
Healthy gums shouldn’t bleed when correctly flossed unless you are flossing a bit too enthusiastically. However, gums can bleed if they are infected and inflamed with gum disease. In addition to bleeding, your gums might look red or swollen, or will feel tender to touch. This is another time when you should book a checkup with a dentist in Courtice and schedule a hygiene appointment at the same time.

The early signs of gum disease can cause bleeding but are often easily reversed by having your teeth cleaned professionally which removes the bacteria causing the infection and inflammation. Also, the hygienist can talk to you about your oral hygiene routine and how to improve it. Afterwards, you will need to continue brushing your teeth regularly and flossing once-a-day, even if it makes your gums bleed a little. Your gums will gradually cease bleeding as they become healthier and stronger.

Flossing can make your gums recede
Flossing certainly won’t make your gums recede and instead can prevent this from happening. When your teeth and gums are cleaned each day thoroughly, it removes plaque and food debris, significantly reducing your risk of infection and inflammation that causes gum recession.

There are lots of other reasons why people avoid flossing, for example, when their teeth are tightly packed in and where it is impossible to use conventional dental floss. In this case, ask us about other types of dental floss as some are thinner or are super slippery, making it easier to floss those tight spaces.

Alongside regular tooth brushing, flossing is one of the easiest ways to look after your dental health. When done correctly, it’ll only take a couple of minutes each day and greatly helps to maintain a healthy smile.


Mar 22, 2019 by
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