Flossing should be a key part of your daily oral health routine and is just as important as brushing, as it reaches the part of your mouth that your toothbrush can’t.

Flossing before you brush is also more effective in removing food particles and bacteria that collect in the spaces between your teeth and can lead to gum disease or tooth decay. 

We recommend flossing before you go to bed and if you have kids, they should begin flossing with your help as soon as they have two teeth in contact, up until they are about 8 years old.

If you do not floss regularly this could cause your gums to bleed, an indication you need to floss more often.  However, if you do floss regularly and your gums are still bleeding you should speak to us to make sure you are flossing correctly or to determine if there are other causes why your gums are bleeding.


Take about 30 – 45 cm of floss and wind it around your middle fingers on each hand. Hold the floss so it is tight and use your thumbs and index fingers to control it:

  1. Slide the dental floss between the teeth – make sure to be gentle
  2. Use an up and down motion to rub the floss along the side of each tooth, or we recommend if the tooth has a filling then pull the floss outwards (not up) this reduces the risk of loosening the filling.
  3. Remove the floss and move to the next space using a new section of floss or rinse with water.

Don’t use toothpicks to clean between teeth, this may cause gum damage and sometimes interdental bone damage as well or break/splinter and get stuck in the gums.

In summary flossing should be part of your daily routine to help remove food particles and bacteria in the spaces between your teeth, preferably before you brush at the end of the day.  Set a good example and also get your kids flossing as soon as they have two teeth in contact, helping them until they are at least 8 years old.  Remember to be gentle and use the correct technique, but chat to us if you are worried about bleeding gums or any oral health issues.