Everyone wants cleaner, whiter teeth and flossing can help you achieve that. Flossing removes plaque from your teeth and gum line, reducing your risk of tooth decay and discoloration, so it is key for a brighter and healthier smile.
With busy lives and schedules, flossing can certainly seem overwhelming. We’d much rather replace a nighttime floss session with a flop into bed. But did you know we only reach around 60% of the tooth’s surface by brushing alone?
Getting out the floss is crucial for getting into every nook and cranny around your teeth and gums, as flossing removes the plaque from your teeth and gum line, reducing risk of tooth decay and discoloration.
We’re here to let you know the benefits of flossing, how to floss safely and key products you need to add to your dental hygiene routine.
Table of Contents
- The benefits of flossing
- What does flossing do?
- How often should you floss your teeth?
- How to floss safely
- Why do gums bleed when flossing?
- What does a discoloured tooth mean?
- Key products for your dental hygiene routine
The benefits of flossing:
- Flossing removes plaque from the gum line.
- Reduces the risk of tooth decay and cavities.
- Reduces the risk of gingivitis which causes sore, inflamed gums.
- Flossing reduces the risk of periodontitis.
- Removes bacteria which cause bad smells for fresher-smelling breath.
- Saves money on expensive trips to the dentist for fillings or treatments.
What does flossing do?
Flossing removes food particles, plaque and bacteria from the gum line where a toothbrush can’t quite reach. Removing these keeps teeth fresh and prevents the development of tooth decay and gum disease.
1. Gets rid of plaque
Plaque forms around your teeth and gums when bacteria in your mouth mix with food and drink, which forms a sticky film if you don't regularly brush your mouth.
Although plaque isn’t visible on the surface of your teeth, it can lead to tartar, making teeth look yellow and, if left untreated, turn brown.
The bacteria in plaque also produce acids after you eat or drink, which can destroy tooth enamel and cause cavities or gum disease.
2. Reduces the risk of cavities
Bacteria in plaque release acids that attack your tooth enamel. Over time, the more plaque you have on your teeth, the higher the risk of developing tooth decay.
Tooth decay can lead to tiny holes in your enamel - the hard surface of your teeth - called cavities.
By flossing teeth regularly, you remove hidden food particles and plaque buildup, lowering the risk of developing cavities.
3. Prevents gum disease
Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease, identified by the inflammation of your gums. The symptoms include bleeding gums when brushing teeth, flossing and eating hard foods and gums becoming swollen, red and painful.
Gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, if not treated, a more serious infection where your gums can shrink and pull away from your teeth, causing your teeth to fall out.
Healthy gums shouldn't bleed when you floss or brush, so if they do, you may need to floss more regularly.
4. Maintains whiter teeth
While flossing does not directly whiten your teeth, it will keep your teeth looking whiter by preventing a buildup of plaque, which can cause yellowing.
Flossing will remove any trapped food particles, giving you a cleaner, brighter smile.
5. Gives you better breath
When food is trapped between teeth and starts to decay, it can cause a bad-smelling breath.
Bad breath – called halitosis – is very common and can be prevented with flossing to remove food particles that a toothbrush can’t quite reach.
How often should you floss your teeth?
Floss your teeth at least once a day, ideally before you go to bed. Flossing is recommended from age 12 once the teeth fit closely together.
How to floss teeth safely
When flossing, start at the top and work from the left of your mouth to the right before repeating the same on the bottom. This way, you’re more likely to cover all your teeth. Remember to floss the back of your last tooth!
Flossing can either be done with interdental brushes or dental floss.
“Floss BEFORE brushing your teeth, as flossing will loosen the food particles and plaque, and brushing will ensure it’s cleaned away. ”
How to use dental floss
- Break off about 45cm of dental floss and wind it around one finger on each hand, leaving about 2.5cm of floss for your teeth.
- Make sure the floss is taut, then place it between your teeth and rock it back and forth, working down the tooth. Floss in a firm but gentle manner. Do not be too aggressive, or you risk harming your gums.
- When you reach your gums, curve the floss into a C-shape against the tooth to get into the space between your gums and your tooth.
- Repeat along the side of the next tooth.
How to use interdental brushes
- Use an interdental brush that fits the gap between your teeth. Never force the brush between your teeth.
- Gently insert the brush between your teeth and move it back and forth a few times.
- When you reach your gums, gently brush the space between your gums and your teeth.
- Repeat along the next side of the tooth before moving on to the next gap.
Why do gums bleed when flossing?
Your gums may bleed when you start flossing as they are tender and not used to being flossed or irritated and inflamed from the debris.
As you continue to floss regularly, the bleeding will stop as your gums become healthier as you remove debris from your teeth.
Taking Vitamin C strengthens your gums and, over time, will help to keep them from bleeding while you floss.
If gums continue to bleed after a few days of flossing, check in with your dentist or hygienist to ensure you're flossing correctly.
What does a discoloured tooth mean?
All of us want sparkly white teeth to give us a confident smile. But, if you’ve noticed your teeth are yellower than you’d like, what does a discoloured tooth mean?
Tooth stains caused by lifestyle:
Teeth can become discoloured when the enamel – the white exterior of your teeth – is stained by certain food or drinks. Common causes are darker liquids like coffee, tea, wine, and cola and starchy foods like potatoes and pasta. Smoking tobacco can also stain teeth due to the nicotine and tar in cigarettes.
Tooth stains caused by dental hygiene:
Poor dental hygiene is a major cause of tooth discoloration. Forgetting to brush and floss and skipping professional dental cleans will cause plaque and food to build up, leading to darker teeth.
Tooth stains caused by health:
Certain diseases, medical treatments and medications can also prevent the normal development of tooth enamel, affecting the color of your teeth. Ageing and genetics are also factors, as the outer layer of tooth enamel wears away with age, while thicker and whiter enamel may run in the family.
Key products for your dental hygiene routine:
BLU Oral Care Accessories 4-Piece Set
The BLU Oral Care Accessories kit comes with an interdental brush for getting between teeth and stimulating gums, a U-shaped brush head for 360-degree cleaning, a tongue scraper for better breath and a nylon toothbrush head for brushing.
The interdental brush is a great swap to add to your routine as it makes flossing between teeth a much easier and more pleasant experience, meaning you’re more likely to stick with it!
Classic sonic toothbrush
Our classic sonic blue brush kit comes with a sonic toothbrush, USB charger, luxury toothpaste and teeth whitening gel. Its patented blue light wave technology kills bacteria for a cleaner smile, while the toothbrush head has gum massages to keep gums healthy.
Using the teeth whitening gel means you brighten as you brush, and in a clinical trial, participants experienced their teeth becoming an average of 4.25 shades lighter in 7 days.
BLU Professional Sonic Whitening Device
The BLU Professional Sonic Whitening Device is designed to provide 360-degree cleaning.
Simply add your toothpaste, switch to vibration mode and pop it in your mouth.
With bristles to get in all the nooks and crannies between your teeth and gums, use the device with the foaming paste for an all-around clean.
Go Smile’s stain removal ampules are used after eating or drinking tea or coffee throughout the day. Break the ampoules, squeeze the serum and scrub on teeth to remove stains before they set.
Get a healthier, cleaner and whiter smile
A healthy smile keeps your teeth and gums healthy and can boost your confidence too! Floss once daily, preferably before bed, and root out any pesky food particles and plaque that could damage teeth.
Budgeting just a few more minutes in your bedtime routine for flossing is an easy way to keep your mouth healthy and your smile sparkly clean, improving your well-being and encouraging you to share a smile.