The Benefits of Flossing

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Oral hygiene is a crucial aspect of overall health, not limited to brushing your teeth twice daily. Flossing is equally important as it helps remove food particles and plaque buildup between teeth and along the gum line. 


Flossing is one of the best ways to improve your overall oral health. People often overlook flossing, but it’s essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Not only does it help prevent gum disease, but it can also help reduce your risk of other oral health problems, such as cavities and bad breath. Removing food particles and bacteria from hard-to-reach areas can keep your teeth and gums healthy and clean.


In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of flossing and how to floss correctly to keep your gums healthy.


Table of contents

The Importance of Flossing for Oral Health

Benefits of Flossing

How to Floss Properly

Tips for Flossing with Sensitive Gums

Common Problems with Flossing



The Importance of Flossing for Oral Health

Brushing alone isn’t enough to remove all the bacteria and plaque that build up between teeth and under the gumline. Flossing helps remove debris and bacteria from these hard-to-reach areas, which, if left untreated, can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Flossing can also prevent bad breath and promote healthy gums.


Benefits of Flossing

Removing a lingering piece of corn or digging out some leftover spinach from between your teeth when flossing feels fantastic. 

In addition to helping your teeth and gums look and feel good, flossing has many other benefits. Let’s look at some of these benefits in more detail.

  • Prevents gum disease

Flossing removes plaque buildup from between teeth and along the gum line, which can help prevent gum disease. Gum disease, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss and other serious oral health problems.


  • Reduces the risk of tooth decay

Plaque buildup on teeth can cause tooth decay, leading to cavities and other dental problems. Flossing removes plaque from these hard-to-reach areas, reducing the risk of tooth decay.


  • Helps maintain fresh breath

Flossing removes food particles and bacteria that can cause bad breath, keeping your breath fresh and clean.


  • Improves overall health

Poor oral health has been linked to other health issues, such as heart disease and diabetes. By flossing regularly, you can improve your overall health and well-being.


How to Floss Properly

Generally speaking, it is better if you floss your teeth before brushing them. When you floss, you typically loosen food particles and plaque around your teeth. 


The brushing helps remove the plaque and particles you’ve removed from your teeth and gum line. While flossing is a simple process, it’s important to use the proper technique to get the most out of it. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Start with about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers.
  • Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand.
  • Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and index fingers, and gently guide the floss between your teeth using a back-and-forth motion.
  • Curve the floss around the base of each tooth and gently slide it beneath the gum line.
  • Use a new section of floss for each tooth to avoid spreading bacteria from one tooth to another.


Tips for Flossing with Sensitive Gums

If you have sensitive gums, flossing can be uncomfortable or even painful. Here are some tips to make flossing easier:


  • Use softer, thinner floss.
  • Be gentle when flossing, and avoid pressing the floss too hard against your gums.
  • Use waxed floss or floss coated with a special lubricant to reduce irritation.
  • Gargling with an antiseptic mouthwash after flossing to reduce inflammation and prevent infection.
  • Use a new piece of floss every day.


Common Problems with Flossing

Flossing can help remove plaque from areas your toothbrush can’t reach, improving overall dental health. However, It’s not only important for you to floss, but you must also do it correctly. Avoid these common flossing mistakes to get the most out of the daily dental care practice.


  • Bleeding gums 

If your gums bleed while flossing, it’s usually a sign of gum inflammation caused by bacteria buildup or other oral health problems. However, it’s crucial to note improper flossing techniques can cause bleeding gums. If bleeding persists, schedule an appointment with your dentist to address any underlying oral health issues.


  • Pain or discomfort

Avoid using too much force while flossing to prevent pain or discomfort. Use a lighter touch and try a different flossing technique, or switch to a softer floss.


  • Difficulty flossing

If you have trouble flossing because of physical limitations or braces, it is best to talk to your dentist.




In conclusion, flossing is an essential part of maintaining good oral health. It helps prevent gum disease, reduces the risk of cavities and bad breath, and improves oral health. Using the proper flossing technique and making it a daily habit, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy and clean for years.


If you have questions about flossing or other oral health topics, don’t hesitate to contact the Eastman Dental Group to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dental professionals. We are always happy to help.