The truth about flossing

The truth about flossing

Are you flossing every day?

That’s what we are recommended to do by our dentists all the time, but how many of us actually do?

Dr. Amy Martin, a dental specialist at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, explains that it is very obvious when patients are not flossing regularly.

“In a non or infrequent flosser, the gums appear redder, bleed easily when manipulated and are what we call ‘boggy’ or ‘spongy’ when touched. These are all signs of inflammation, typically caused by the presence of bacteria sitting around the teeth and gums for too long,” says Dr. Martin.

Flossing is important in order to keep our teeth and gums healthy and prevent bacteria from building up in our mouths. This bacteria can lead to further oral hygiene issues, such as cavities, tooth decay and gum disease.

Not only is flossing important, but how you floss should be considered, too.

“Proper flossing involves gently inserting the floss between the teeth, followed by curving the floss around the base of each tooth in a C shape and gently moving it up and down a few times to remove debris. Never snap the floss into place between teeth, as this can irritate or damage the gums and cause them to bleed,” explains Dr. Martin.

Flossing should be a part of everyone’s daily routine. Dr. Martin adds that it is helpful to floss before bed so you can remove all the built-up plague from throughout the day.

If you have questions about flossing, consult your local dentist.

Related Posts



  1. The real Truth about Flossing is that no matter how you floss you’re doing it wrong!

  2. Recommendation: when posting photo and article of the importance of flossing, should use photo of person correctly flossing!

  3. As a retired hygienist of 30 years, your picture is a poor example of proper dental floss technique. That way having your fingers so far from your teeth the floss will snap and cut the gums. Make sure to be using a long enough piece of floss and like an old typewriter ribbon move the the floss so you are not getting dirty floss into areas you are trying to clean. Thanks for adding flossing as an important daily habit.

  4. What about water flossing (like Waterpik)? Does that count as replacement or do you have to still do flossing?

Subscribe to health enews newsletter

About the Author

health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.