6815 Kateri DriveGrande PrairieAB
+1 (780) 296 4075
6815 Kateri DriveGrande PrairieAB
+1 (780) 296 4075
January 3, 2022

Flossing Benefits and Techniques – Told by Your Grande Prairie Dentist

Why do dentists keep telling us to floss!?

Simple answer – they’ve seen a big difference between the teeth and gums of people who floss regularly and those who don’t.

Why is dental floss important?

Dental floss along with a toothbrush is required for complete oral hygiene. Brushing teeth alone cannot clean all surfaces of your teeth.

Dental floss is a soft thread made of thin filaments that are used to clean between teeth. Dentists have seen a significant difference when patients begin to floss; we see less plaque, minimal bleeding, fresher breath, less need for scaling etc.

Benefits of flossing

  • Flossing helps remove plaque from spaces between teeth that are not reachable through a toothbrush.
  • Flossing helps you get rid of bad breath. Floss removes food from tooth surfaces and doesn’t let it rot and smell.
  • Flossing prevents gum bleeding. Flossing is also great to avoid receding gums and bone loss.

Simply put, flossing used along with brushing is the prime weapon against plaque build up, bad breath and gum diseases.

Easy steps to use dental floss

Flossing—although considered difficult —is very simple. You can use floss-picks, which are super convenient. But if you want to do it the old fashioned way, here’s an easy flossing technique:

  • Pull out 18-24 inches of dental floss and wrap most of it around each middle finger leaving 1-3 inches in the centre.
  • Hold that 1-3 inches of floss tightly between your thumb and index fingers.
  • Now, move the thread in between your teeth using an up and down, gentle rubbing motion to floss.
  • As you approach the gumline, make sure to curve the floss into a C-shape against the tooth.
  • Gently massage the floss on the gum line around each tooth and behind the last tooth.
  • Rinse your mouth with water when you’re done flossing.

What are the different types of floss?

What type of floss should you use? Honestly, it doesn’t really matter… just do it! But, here are some different options:

Waxed Floss

Floss coated with wax; it’s as simple as that. Waxed Floss is smoother to use for people who have sensitive teeth and gums, or those who have braces. It’s pretty common and recommended for most people.

Unwaxed Floss

Unwaxed floss is beneficial for patients who have tight contacts between teeth.


These are small pieces of floss attached to a plastic stick that serves as a holder. People find these easier to move between teeth than pulling and cutting out new lengths of floss every day.

Dental Tape

It’s a kind of floss recommended for people who have wide spaces between their teeth, or those with fixed bridges in their mouths.

Electric Flosser

An electric flosser is a battery operated floss.

Water Flosser

This one is a hand-held device that helps clear food particles between teeth by directing a fine, pressured stream of water.

Frequently asked questions

  1. My gums bleed when I floss. Should I stop using dental floss?
    Minor bleeding is normal for someone who’s new to flossing. If you continue to floss daily, the bleeding will stop soon. If there’s excessive bleeding that doesn’t stop soon, you may have inflamed gum (gingivitis). Gum inflammation is usually a result of plaque accumulation which can be removed by flossing. So no, don’t stop flossing, but it’s not a bad idea to drop by your dentist and get your teeth cleaned.
  2. Can I reuse my floss?
    Nope. I’ll spare you with the reasons. Just don’t do it…
  3. What is the correct sequence for brushing, flossing, and mouthwash?
    Flossing, brushing, and then, mouthwash is preferred. Flossing first will remove bacteria from hard-to-reach areas and then brushing will finish the rest of the cleaning. Finishing with mouthwash will give you a fresh breath to begin your day.
    Many dentists would say: Follow any sequence you like; just ensure that you do all the steps.
  4. What is the best time to floss?
    It’s important to floss daily regardless of the time. Whether it’s bedtime, first thing in the morning, or midday, time doesn’t matter; just pick whatever time suits your schedule.

The bottom line

Oral hygiene significantly improves with proper flossing and brushing twice a day. Want nicer smelling breath and more confidence? Give your teeth some love. Stay flawless, Not flossless.

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