Get the Answers: Your Complete Dental Flossing FAQs


Do you have nagging questions about the value of flossing or the best technique? As your local Wimbledon Dentist, I want to empower patients with knowledge about optimal oral health habits. Here I’ll address the most frequently asked flossing questions to resolve any myths or confusion. Read on for plain answers from the dental experts at Sw19 Confidental Dental Clinic!

Why Should I Floss My Teeth?

Flossing clears harmful bacteria and food debris from between teeth and just below the gumline where plaque loves to accumulate and toothbrush bristles simply cannot reach. It powerfully supplements brushing to boost gum health and prevent various oral disease. Just brushing alone is not enough for complete oral hygiene.

What Are the Benefits of Flossing Teeth Regularly?

Consistent flossing provides immense protective benefits including:

  • Removing disease-feeding plaque from tight spaces
  • Slashing gum infection risk by clearing bacteria below gumline
  • Lowering chance of heart disease linked to gum inflammation
  • Avoiding bad breath from food rotting between teeth
  • Preventing tooth decay from sugary debris

What Happens If I Don’t Floss My Teeth?

Without regular flossing, plaque rapidly builds up between teeth, encouraging gum infection, tooth decay around the gumline, and even tooth loss. Gingivitis can worsen to advanced periodontitis bone damage too. Lack of flossing is a huge reason adults lose teeth prematurely.

Is Flossing Good or Bad For Your Teeth?

Flossing is extremely beneficial and critical for supplementing daily brushing and controlling bacteria accumulation between teeth. When done gently and correctly, flossing does not damage gums. Avoid snapping floss forcefully down however as this can cause recession.

Can I Just Floss Without Brushing Too?

It’s never okay to only floss without brushing too. Flossing moves particles around the mouth but doesn’t effectively remove them. Brushing clears them away. Flossing and brushing work as a team for healthy teeth and gums, neutralizing bad bacteria.

Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Floss?

Don’t be alarmed if your gums bleed a little when you first begin flossing, especially if you have slight gum inflammation. As you floss consistently, the bleeding will fade within a couple weeks. But report heavy, persistent bleeding to your dentist Wimbledon as this can signal gum disease.

Why Does My Mouth Feel Weird After Flossing?

That odd tingling, sensitivity or strange taste after first flossing in a while is normal. You’re likely experiencing some inflammation and sudden debris removal from gum pockets. Stick to regular flossing and funny sensations will fade fast as gums grow healthier.

Why Does My Tooth Smell When I Touch It?

Bad breath and foul smells when flossing or touching certain teeth typically occur when deep decay reaches inner structures. The rotten scent comes from gases and bacteria colonization within damaged dentin. See your Wimbledon dentist promptly to treat the underlying tooth infection.

What Type of Floss is Best?

Traditional nylon floss suits most needs but varieties help adapt to specific issues. Waxed and unwaxed offer different friction levels. Gripper floss grips better around dental work. Soft floss is gentlest on inflamed gums. Rigid floss slides easiest under bridges. Your Wimbledon private dentist can recommend the best match.

Does Flossing Really Need to be a Daily Habit?

Yes – daily flossing is vital because plaque begins rebuilding just hours after brushing. Bacteria multiply quickly, raising your decay and gum disease risk again if you skip too many days. Just flossing a few days per week is vastly inadequate for protecting oral health long-term.

How Much Floss Do I Need Per Tooth?

For most adult teeth, unwind about 18 inches then wrap majority around fingers for grip and tension control. Use a fresh 2-3 inch length between each tooth, refreshing it as needed when section gets soiled. Adjust amounts for the tightness of your teeth. Be sure to floss the backs of your last molars too!

Can I Floss Too Hard or Too Often?

Over-flossing multiple times per day risks damaging gums but this is very rare. More commonly, inadequate flossing frequency and technique cause problems. Use a light sawing motion and curve floss around tooth bases to avoid excess friction. Ease up if you see gum trauma.

Will Flossing Reduce Tooth Decay and Fillings?

Absolutely! A landmark study found the combination of brushing AND flossing resulted in 30% less tooth decay progression over two years versus just brushing alone. This shows flossing’s potent impact for controlling bacteria, reducing acid attack, and minimizing new cavities and fillings.

Do I Need Special Tools to Floss Effectively?

For most people, basic nylon string floss done correctly works perfectly fine with no special tools required. But interdental cleaners like small brushes or pointed picks can be useful for maneuvering through wider gaps or dental appliances. Check with your dentist in Wimbledon first before using.

Do Kids Need to Floss Too?

As soon as two teeth start touching, flossing should begin! Don’t assume kids can skip flossing just because they lose baby teeth eventually. Cavities and gum inflammation still create problems and flossing teaches good lifelong habits. Just use child-size flossers and supervise technique.

Is Flossing With Braces Harder?

Flossing with orthodontics takes more patience but works the same basic way. Use floss threaders to loop the floss under the archwire from tooth to tooth. Or try pre-threaded flosses that weave through faster. Don’t avoid flossing in braces – plaque sticks aggressively to appliance surfaces!

In Conclusion

Make no mistake – flossing makes a monumental difference for avoiding gum disease, tooth decay and later extensive dental repairs. Be sure to floss thoroughly once per day, paired always with diligent brushing too. Contact SW19 Confidental Dental Practice if you need any help troubleshooting flossing challenges or want a tailored home care plan for optimal oral wellness!Don’t let uncertainty about proper flossing technique or effectiveness stop you from adopting this vital part of complete oral care. As always, the exceptional dental team at Sw19 Confidental Dental Clinic, WimbledonDentist helps explain best practices tailored to your unique smile needs. Just ask! We want those gums and teeth protected.