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The Dos and Don’ts of Flossing

Woman flossing teeth

Is there more to flossing than running a strand of waxed thread up and down between your teeth? Actually, yes. At Studfield Dental Group, we don’t just want our patients to understand how important flossing is, but more importantly, how important it is to floss correctly.

Here are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind:

Do floss every day. Brushing doesn’t physically clean between your teeth, where cavities and gum disease tend to start. You need to physically clean where your teeth touch side-by-side at least once every day.

Don’t always opt for a “floss pick.” A floss pick is appropriate for children, teeth that are easy to reach around, or for a quick go-to. But the rigid shape of a pick can make it physically impossible to clean around some of the contours throughout your mouth.

 

Do slide the floss under your gums. Wrap the floss snuggly around your tooth and slide it up and down under the gumlines several times. The goal is to clean 2-3mm deep, into the “pocket” around each tooth.

Do not snap the floss straight down between your teeth. This can cause irreversible trauma to your gum tissue, especially the “papilla” (soft point of gums that extends upwards between your teeth.)

 

Don’t stop flossing if your gums bleed. If you’re not a regular flosser, then the first several times may trigger some bleeding. This is normal, and should improve after about 10-14 days.

 

Do expect some soreness, especially if you don’t floss regularly. If flossing each day after two weeks doesn’t improve the soreness, you need to see a dentist.

If you have specific areas such as dental implants or bridges that are more challenging to floss around, ask the Studfield Dental Group team for a few tips during your next checkup. Call our clinic on 03 9887 0888 to schedule an appointment today.