Why is flossing so important?

Cleaning between the teeth with floss or other aids is truly is an essential part of taking good care of your teeth and gums ????. It is recommended to clean between the teeth once a day to help prevent decay (cavities) and gum disease. This is because there are areas of plaque and bacteria that the toothbrush simply cannot reach effectively.

What should I use to clean between my teeth?

There are several methods of cleaning between the teeth. The most well-known is floss, but there are others such as dental toothpicks, interdental brushes and air/water flossers. It is best to ask your dentist for advice on which product would work best for your teeth and more importantly, how to use it properly! Even for people who are regularly flossing, often a slight adjustment to their technique can significantly increase how much food debris and plaque is being removed so don’t be shy to ask your dentist for a demonstration.

Is it best to floss before or after brushing?

There is no hard and fast answer to this question. The most important thing is to incorporate cleaning between the teeth into your dental care routine until it becomes a habit. Choose either in the morning or evening, whenever you have more time, and just DO IT! In saying this, it can be a good idea to clean between the teeth BEFORE brushing. This ensures that all plaque and bacteria that have been missed can be brushed off and allows the protective fluoride in toothpaste to reach between the teeth.

Try to always keep in mind: “Healthy gums DO NOT BLEED!”
If you notice some bleeding when brushing or flossing, pay special attention to those areas and clean them thoroughly every day until the bleeding stops. You may notice some discomfort at the start; your gums may ache or even throb. Do not be discouraged and rest assured that this is simply because the gums are irritated and inflamed and it will definitely ease over time!