I would like to encourage all my patients to floss in order to remove plaque from their teeth. When we brush our teeth, no matter how meticulous, we are not able to clean in between them. At the end of the day, before going to bed, brush and floss cautiously. You may see or smell food particles on the floss if you haven’t been doing it consistently.
Sometimes, patients come and say “we don’t brush or floss because it starts bleeding”. I would like to inform you that if you are medically healthy you need to brush and floss more, NOT less. When we don’t brush or floss our teeth for a few hours, there will be a build up of plaque all over them. Plaque contains bacteria and can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Not brushing and flossing will make the problem worse, it will cause more severe gum disease and it will cause deeper decay.
Some tips for your flossing:
- Floss every night before bed and after brushing.
- Leave a floss beside your bed so if you forget to floss, you can do it while in the bed.
- Flossing 2 or 3 times a week is better than not flossing at all.
- If you floss regularly the bleeding will stop.
- When flossing, be gentle and don’t traumatize your gums, slide the floss in between your teeth and slide it between your gums and tooth and move it up and down until you feel it is clean.
- Make sure you floss between all your teeth and behind your last teeth.
- The important thing is to floss and to remove the plaque. Any brand of floss will do the job. Most patients find that waxed floss is easier to use.
Good luck with your flossing!