Do I really have to floss my teeth?

Dental Floss

Brushing your teeth twice a day is important for maintaining good oral hygiene, but did you know that daily flossing is equally important?

Dental floss helps to prevent gum disease and tooth decay by getting rid of food and plaque from between your teeth. Areas that are inaccessible to your toothbrush.

How to use dental floss

There are many different types of floss that you can find at your local supermarket or pharmacist. Essentially there is no real difference in their effectiveness. It comes down to proper technique. Follow your dentist’s advice about using dental floss. If you use dental floss incorrectly, it can damage your gums.

Here are some tips

  1. Use a piece of floss about 30 cm long. Winding it gently around the middle fingers of each hand.
  2. Hold the floss with your thumb and forefinger of each hand so that the floss between your hands is about 2-5 cm long.
  3. Gently guide the floss up and down against the sides of the teeth and under the gum line stopping when you feel gentle resistance against the gum.
  4. Make sure you floss between every single tooth concentrating on sliding the floss along the sides of both teeth. Not just passing the floss through the gap.
  5. Flossing at night is better than flossing in the morning

What if my gums bleed?

Initially your gums may be tender and bleed a little as you start to get rid of any plaque build-up. Continue flossing your teeth and the bleeding should stop, as your gums become healthier.

If you notice continued bleeding after a few days, please don’t hesitate to call us on 1300 428 715, we will be more than happy to assist you with any questions that you may have.

Floss HolderWhat if I find flossing difficult?

If you find holding the floss difficult, you could try using a floss holder. Floss holders hold the floss making it easier to reach more difficult areas. You can buy these from pharmacists, supermarkets or come and see us at Redcliffe Smiles. We have a vast range or oral hygiene products that will help keep you smiling for life.

How your diet affects your teeth

saladThere are lots of things we can do that help maintain good oral health. But did you know that the food you eat also has a big impact on your teeth?

We all know that sugary foods like lollies are a major cause of dental decay. But that doesn’t mean they have to be cut out of your diet altogether. Moderation is the key, and combined regular brushing, flossing and scheduled six monthly dental checks. The occasional snack is unlikely to cause major issues.

There are certain things we need to be mindful of.


Citrus fruits although a rich source of vitamin and nutrients—are good for you in many ways, but not when it comes to your teeth. They are highly acidic and can erode tooth enamel over time.

lollies-4-1057255Lollies and Sweets

Foods that take a long time to chew or that you hold in your mouth (such as sticky lollies) can damage teeth as they retain sugar in the mouth longer than other foods.

The more sugary the food the more damage it can cause. Bacteria feeds off this sugar to make acid. This dissolves the protective layer of tooth enamel and is the cause of tooth decay.

Hard Lollies have the added risk that they can chip your teeth.

Soft Drinks

It’s no secret that drinking sugary soft drinks can cause tooth decay. What’s less well known is that the acids found in these drinks can harm teeth even more than the sugar. So even sugar-free soft drinks like Diet Coke are bad for your teeth because they erode your tooth enamel if consumed in large doses.

Sports Drinks

Unfortunately sports drinks won’t do your teeth any favours either. They are highly acidic too, and are potentially even more damaging to teeth. Leaving your teeth sensitive, weaker and more prone to decay.

Remember that timing is everything

A diet that promotes good oral health is not just about the foods you eat or avoid. When and how you eat is equally important. Set meals rather than snacking all day is far better for you. It means less time that food is in contact with your teeth and less opportunity for the bacteria that causes decay to damage them.