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.

Did he even look at your gums?

The most common reason now for a tooth to be extracted is gum disease. Unfortunately, many dentists are not particularly interested in gums, and as such, gum disease often goes unnoticed until relatively advanced, and difficult to treat. Early signs are bleeding gums after brushing or flossing, and healthy gums SHOULD NOT BLEED! Treatment in early stages is thorough cleaning of the teeth by the dentist or hygienist (who is specifically trained for this purpose), followed by instruction in suitable maintenance techniques for homecare.

The main reason for bringing people back for 6, 9 or 12 month check-ups is to allow regular professional tooth cleaning to prevent gum disease and maintain optimum oral health, so if your dentist only ever cleans the back of the front 6 teeth and gives them a quick brush, CHANGE DENTIST NOW!! There is no excuse for ignoring gum disease anymore, and any dentist that does should not be allowed to get away with it. Be particularly aware if you are being seen under your PRSI, a medical card, or other third party scheme, as it is easy for the dentist to skip the proper cleaning and still get paid, and this should not happen.

Treatment of more advanced gum disease will cost you money, as there is no easy fix, and it will require time and effort on your part, and usually the intervention of a good hygienist or periodontist (gum treatment specialist). It is much easier to prevent than to treat gum disease.