• Leonie Arnebark

Are you and your family doing the floss? 7 Reasons why you should floss daily

Flossing the dance craze has caught on everywhere but traditional teeth flossing is not so easy to set the trend in especially for the kiddies despite its importance.

Did you know that nearly half the surface area of your teeth lies between them? So, if you are solely relying on brushing, like many people, then you’re not cleaning a large portion of your teeth, which in turn can affect how healthy your teeth and gums are. By removing the plaque from between your teeth, you’re helping to prevent gum disease, tooth decay and halitosis, otherwise known as “bad breath”.

Flossing is perhaps even more important than brushing because it removes bacteria that are the precursors of plaque, which if left to fester will turn into tartar that cannot be removed by regular brushing or flossing.

An increasing body of evidence suggests that proper dental care -- including regular flossing -- can do more than keep your smile healthy. A healthy mouth can also help prevent much more serious diseases, some of which can be life threatening including oral cancer. But if you're still not convinced that you should add flossing to your daily routine, we have highlighted seven reasons to make the case that flossing is extremely important.

7 Reasons why you should floss daily:

1. Floss can go where a toothbrush can’t

Floss can get into the space between the teeth and gums, removing much of the food and plaque that a toothbrush or mouthwash can't move.

2. Plaque acts quickly

Skipping a few days of flossing allows bacteria the perfect amount of time to solidify. Plaque starts to harden within hours of eating, and once 48 hours have passed, the cavity-causing substance will be firmly stuck to your teeth, best removed by a professional cleaning.

3. Your gums will stop bleeding

Do you bleed a little after you floss? Don’t worry, although it may seem counterintuitive, flossing actually reduces the occurrence of bleeding gums. If you remove bacteria from the gum line, your body won’t send blood cells to the area to fight the infection. Happy gums and happy you!

With daily brushing and flossing, bleeding gums typically go away in a few weeks. If they don’t, you should visit your dentist as they can check if you’re flossing correctly and determine if you might have gum disease.

4. Less visits to the dentist

If you don’t take proper care of your teeth, you’re going to be visiting the dentist a lot more.

5. A healthier body

Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and even respiratory disease have all been linked to gum disease. By maintaining your gum health, you will help to alleviate your risk of these serious conditions – or improve your condition, if you’re already affected.

6. Stronger teeth

What’s worse than getting a cavity? Getting a cavity in between two teeth. Remove bacterial build up in those hard-to-reach areas, and you’ll save yourself the pain of going under the drill.

7. Minimises bad breath

An unhealthy mouth, full of decay and gum disease can create an awful smell. Good oral hygiene can put an end to bad breath, and this includes daily flossing. See your dentist at least every six months for a teeth cleaning and exam if you do have concerns in this area.

Kids and flossing-when to start?

Children should start to floss as soon as they have 2 teeth that are in contact with each other. It is advised that parents should supervise flossing until they are about 10. Your dentist can show you the correct technique if you’re not sure.

So, get flossing! For healthier teeth for life.


Australian Dental Association (ADA)

Health Direct

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