To floss or not to floss

These days, most of us know to brush our teeth twice a day, but flossing is still something of a specialist subject. So why is it so important?

Why floss?

Brushing your teeth is great to get rid of build-up on the surface of the teeth, but it can be difficult to get in between the teeth, which is where dental floss comes in. By flossing your teeth every time you brush, you can significantly reduce your chances of developing gum disease.

How to floss

Bristol dentist Cornelius Krause offers his top tips for how to floss your teeth effectively

  1. Break off a piece of floss about 30 cm long and wind it around the middle finger of each hand.
  2. Use the thumb and forefinger of each hand to grip the floss firmly, leaving about 5cm of floss pulled tightly between your hands.
  3. Insert the taut floss between the teeth and move it gently up and down, all the way down to the gum. When you reach the gumline, curve the floss against the tooth until you feel some resistance.
  4. Hold the floss against the tooth and gently scrape across the surface, away from the gum. This should help you to clean under the gumline without damaging the gum itself.

Repeat this process for every tooth.

Flossing alternatives

If you find flossing very difficult or time consuming, you could try using an interdental brush. This is a very small, fine brush which can be inserted between the teeth to clean in the same way as dental floss.

If you find that your gums bleed when you first start flossing, don’t worry – this is often the case as the plaque build-up is cleaned away. If bleeding continues for more than a few days, however, do contact us at Bristol dentist clinic CK Dental, to make sure you are using the correct flossing technique.