Pearl News

A Simple Guide to Flossing


Flossing involves the use of a dental cord or dental floss tape to remove food particles from in-between teeth. It should be an integral part of any oral healthcare routine and involves gently moving the floss in-between and below the gum line of each tooth in the mouth.

5 Key Steps involved in Flossing

– Use 18″ of floss, wind most of it around the same finger on both hands, leaving around 1″ in the middle to start with
– Draw floss down in-between teeth with a gentle sawing motion
– Bend the floss into a ‘C’ shape and continue below the gum line
– Make sure to floss between and beside every tooth
– Rinse your mouth to remove debris before brushing

3 Key Advantages of Flossing

– Flossing removes food debris and plaque from places that a toothbrush cannot reach
– Flossing prevents tooth decay and gum disease
– It helps you to maintain healthy gums, which in turn lead to healthy teeth

We come across patients all the time who dislike the idea of flossing due to the temporary discomfort they experience in their gums. The good news is that after a couple of days this discomfort subsides and you get to a stage where you don’t even realise you are doing it. If you need any help or advice with your flossing technique ask the dentist on your next visit. Appointments can be made by calling our practice reception on 01 6790625.

What do your gums say?


Healthy and well cared for gums will last you a lifetime, and should be pink and firm to the touch.

Your gums perform three main functions:

Anchor teeth to the jaw, allowing you to bite and chew
– Alveolar Processes surround the teeth and give them support
– The Gingiva (Pink Flesh) protects the roots of your teeth

Bleeding, swelling and soreness are all sure signs of gum disease, which comes in two main types – Gingivitis which is reversible and Periodontal Disease which is not reversible.

Treatment Options for gum disease will be assessed and recommended by your dentist when you attend for your next check-up. It can usually be a simple case of your dentist or hygienist removing the build up of plaque (Tartar) from your teeth, and/or maybe deep root cleaning if necessary.

Gum disease can be minimised by ensuring that you spend a sufficient amount of time brushing your teeth (Around 2 minutes) and using floss and interdental brushes to remove plaque from your teeth and gums.

Other steps that you could take might include:

– Reducing your intake of sugary food and drinks, which feed plaque
– Taking the time to carefully clean around teeth and gums
– Plaque removing mouthwash
– Eat more fish and nuts, which reduce the risk of gum disease