Flossing every day helps remove plaque and other debris that brushing alone simply cannot reach and increases the chances of keeping your teeth in better health and for a lifetime. You also will reduce your risk for developing gum problems and helps to get rid of bad breath. The benefits are numerous and we are here to help you learn more about flossing.

Here are some frequently asked questions about flossing.

Why do my gums bleed when I floss?

Your gums will bleed when you first start flossing, but if you continue to floss daily, they will soon stop bleeding, normally within the first week. Keep in mind that bleeding is normal especially if the gums are inflamed.

Do I floss up and down or side to side?

You should floss easily up and down and complete the motion with a back and forth traction of the floss while following the contour of the tooth. In doing so, you help to remove the bacteria and debris between gums and teeth.

Does flossing make little gaps between the teeth?

No, this is not true. Floss isn’t thick enough or strong enough to manipulate teeth like this and avoiding flossing only results in gum disease in the long run.

My gums are usually bleeding even when I am not brushing my teeth or flossing. Why is that?

It's generally a sign of gingivitis (gum disease) and tends to happen if you don't care for your teeth and gums properly. When you brush and floss daily, the bleeding should significantly decrease within a week. If it doesn't, you should schedule an appointment with a dentist. Make sure you brush gently (but thoroughly) with a soft brush as well, so you don't irritate your gums.

Do I have to floss every day?

Yes, but if you can't do it every single day, then flossing every other day will also improve your gum health.

What product should I use to floss?

It doesn’t matter which product you use. You can use dental floss, flossing sticks, water flossers and other products as long as they properly clean the smile and care for the teeth and gums.