Brushing your teeth is not enough to maintain or improve your gum health. Dentists recommend using interdental brushes to clean between your teeth from the age of 12. However, if the spaces between your teeth cannot accommodate an interdental brush, then floss can be the next best thing.
Even the best electric toothbrushes on the market may miss some plaque and food debris between your teeth, so it is important you floss at the end of every day. If you don’t floss, you are likely leaving behind harmful sugars between your teeth that may cause bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease.
Dental floss is usually a thin thread, similar to string, but if you prefer something softer then you may choose to go with dental tape as an alternative. We recommend flossing before you brush your teeth as once any plaque and food is dislodged; you can brush it away with your toothbrush so your whole mouth feels clean.
When flossing, you should be gentle and not scrape aggressively at your gums, as this can cause further dental problems. You can ask your dentist for advice on how to floss properly, but the main action is to guide the floss between your teeth and move it back and forward from the top to the bottom of your tooth.
Your gums may bleed the first few times you start flossing, this is completely normal. Your gums may feel tender and bleed whilst you floss, as long as you are being gentle you should continue flossing until gradually the bleeding lessens and stops over time as your gums become healthier.
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