Dentist Questions Teeth, And Gum Care

How can flossing help in maintaining the health of teeth and gums?

I have been reading a lot of dental floss and how they can help in maintaining the health of teeth and gums. Is it true that regular flossing is essential for dental hygiene? How often should I practice flossing and is there anything to keep in mind as precautions when flossing.

19 Answers

A tooth has 5 sides, brushing only cleans 3 sides, flossing cleans the other 2 sides. Floss 1 or 2 times a day, be gentle. We as dentists have a joke: floss only the teeth you want to keep.
Flossing should be done at least once or twice a day. Your toothbrush cannot remove the material in the contact area between the teeth. Only floss can break up the bacteria that form there. Brushing cannot reach these areas and that is why floss is important. It can go a long way to stop inter proximal decay.
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Floss cleans between the teeth which is a place that a brush, mouthwash or water pick cannot reach. Not flossing allows bacteria in these places to mature into aggressive bugs that create holes in the gums. Blood leaks out of these holes and germs crawl into your body. Floss at least once very other day to prevent these infections.
Yes! Flossing is a necessity. Flossing should be done at least once daily to remove food debris, oral bacteria and plaque from the teeth surfaces. Even the best tooth-brusher in the world cannot clean the interproximal contact areas of the teeth without floss. Imagine driving 5 cars through the mud so they are covered completely in filth. Then park the cars so the doors are touching. You can wash and scrub the front, back and top all day long, but when you drive the cars apart, the doors will still be nasty. Its the same with your teeth - you have to use floss to scrub the sides of the teeth to keep them clean and healthy.
Regular flossing is essential for healthy teeth and gums. Doing it once a day is all that is needed. As for precautions make sure you are holding the floss up against the tooth so you don’t saw into the gums. If you need a dentist, call the office of Dr. Brad Emery, Dr. Nicholas Emery and Dr. Carol Scuro, at 585-247-7110. Or check out our website at
Flossing should be done daily. The best time is before bedtime because it removes all the food and bacteria in between the teeth, an area where the toothbrush cannot reach. Bedtime is the best time because our saliva (which helps keep the mouth clean) is reduced significantly when asleep and the bacteria thrive and cause cavities to form during this period. Ensure you use a long piece of floss and use a clean section of floss in between each teeth so not too spread any cavities or infection present in between any teeth to other teeth.

Flossing is essential for maintaining not just your oral health but your health in general. Bacteria laden dental plaque forms around all the surfaces of your teeth. There are 5surfaces to a tooth, the occlusal or biting surface, the tongue and cheek surfaces and the 2 surfaces in between the teeth. Good brushing will get rid of the plaque on all of the surfaces except in between the teeth, so if you brush well, you will be cleaning 3 out of 5 surfaces. That's only a score of 60%. Dental professionals also know that for adults both dental caries (tooth decay) and periodontal (gum) disease both start in between the teeth where only floss can reach.

We are now learning that besides tooth loss, there are more and more diseases and conditions that are linked to oral problems including diabetes, heart disease, pneumonia, and even cancer. So get out that floss and make sure to use it every day along with brushing!

flossing is the only way to remove the food that gets stuck between the teeth where they touch. It is also beneficial for the health of the gingival tissue.
Flossing is necessary for the health pf teeth and gingiva as brish can't
clean between the teeth, so the interproximal plaque and food that gets
stuck between the teeth needs to be cleaned by floss, I would say after
each meal, because those plaques and food debris that are stuck between the
teeth can get used by micro organisms and cause interproximal cavities on
teeth and gingival damage on the gums.
While flossing it's important to lean the floss against the teeth so it
doesn't cut the gum in the middle.
Toothbrushing will keep the insides and outsides of your teeth clean. Floss will keep between your teeth clean (and will help to prevent cavities there) and will keep the bacterial level between your teeth down, which will help to prevent or control gum disease. So, yes, flossing is essential to maintain good oral hygiene. Ideally, one should brush morning and night (at least) and floss every night before bed. Floss gently - there's no need to be rough. If your teeth are really tight together, try different flosses until you find one that works for you. If needed, place the floss on your teeth and saw it back and forth so it slides down between your teeth. If you can't pull it up and out then pull it straight through so you can remove it. And be sure to floss the back teeth, too. If you can't get your fingers all the way into the back of your mouth, there are many aids available, including the Reach Access.
When flossing which is hugely important make sure you invest in a good quality floss. Some of our patients use the one we use in the office and get it at a very good price as we order it. It is teflon coated and waxed so it resists breaking and shredding. Used at night is best . Use it gently and after brushing with a little residual paste in your mouth allows some paste to make it down between the contacts of the teeth where cavities and gum disease can start
Flossing gets the food debris and bacteria out from between the teeth. It is beneficial to maintain health. Once a day is usually sufficient and you need to be careful not to traumatize the gum tissue. Another practice to look at is oil pulling, a great way to cleanse your teeth and gums. Go to for more info. Thanks.
Flossing is very important for oral hygiene and it should be done at least once per day. Don't force the floss to deeply you might cause problems with periodontal legsament
Flossing can only benefit oral health. The main purpose of flossing is to disrupt the biofilm that is in between teeth. It is important to rub the floss along the wall of the tooth, creating a C shape on both teeth and the floss should slip just underneath the gums. One risk of flossing is being too aggressive. Floss can actually cut into the gums if aggressive pressure is used, resulting in recession. There are limitations to flossing as well. If periodontal disease is present, there is no way floss can clean out periodontal pockets. It is still a great benefit and flossing is recommended once a day.

Hope this helps.

Jossi Stokes, DDS
you should brush, floss and rince twice daily. If you dont like string floss then a water pik water flosser is a great alternative to flossing to maintain health gums.

Tristan Schaffer/Office Manager(610) 432-1228
Flossing is essential to maintaining the health of your teeth and gums! Flossing removes bacteria and plaque that accumulate in between your teeth and also removes debris and reduces inflammation from your gums. Many times we see cavities in between patients teeth when they are not flossing. You should floss at least once a day! Hope this helps!
I think the best advice is to watch a video of proper flossing technique as it is much easier to visualize this as opposed to explaining it by written word. The idea is to keep your floss close to the surface of the tooth and avoid a sewing motion as it is more a vertical up and down movement with the floss between your fingers and the surface of the tooth. You'll get the idea once you watch the video and go slowly as you'll build up dexterity as you get used to the movement. I would also recommend getting a floss Aid at the drugstore to help increase your leverage with floss.
Daily flossing is absolutely essential to maintain good oral health. The ideal time to floss is before bedtime because while you are asleep, the flow of saliva slows down and bacterial plaque proliferates which can lead to decay and periodontal (gum) problems. Some people say they are too tired at night to floss. If that is the case, do it in the morning or any other time during the day that you can do it. Doing it every 24 hours is more important than the time of day you do it.
I always say that if all of my patients flossed every day, I would go out of business. Flossing is the cheapest and easiest way to prevent dental problems. The bacteria that cause decay and gum disease mainly live at the gum-line and in between your teeth. Flossing is the easiest way to clean the ones in between your teeth. You should do it daily. I recommend adding this to your morning routine as you will often be too tired at night to be consistent. The floss should be worked past the contact, pulled towards each tooth, and then gently worked up and down as far below the gum-line as you can go without hurting yourself. If it bleeds, floss more. Infected gums bleed, healthy gums do not. Also 6 month cleanings and evaluations are very important to finding problems early and preventing tooth loss.