Why You Need to Floss Your Teeth

Learn how flossing your teeth can affect your overall health.

From Best You Instant Health Answers
Why You Need to Floss Your Teeth© George Doyle/Stockbyte/Thinkstock

Why floss?

If you’re following your dentist’s orders, you floss every day to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. But if you’ve noticed that flossing is causing your gums to bleed, it’s not a sign that you need to stop. It’s the opposite: Bleeding gums can be a sign that you have a bacterial infection that flossing will help get rid of. Research confirms that inflamed, infected gums are linked to heart disease, because chronic inflammation triggers the creation of immune-system chemicals in your bloodstream that contribute to the buildup of fatty deposits in your arteries. If the bleeding doesn’t subside after a few days, check with your dentist since it could be a sign of serious gum disease.

How to do it:

Aggressive flossing can cause bleeding, so make sure you are flossing properly: Wind an 18-inch piece of floss around the middle fingers of each hand. Pinch the floss between the thumbs and index fingers, leaving 1 or 2 inches in between. Use your thumbs to gently guide the floss between your teeth, then move the floss up and down using a zigzag motion. Don’t snap the floss between your teeth.

Plus: 3 Surprising Ways to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

Sending Message
how we use your e-mail

  • Your Comments

    • http://smilereef.com/ Las Vegas Dentist

      Brushing your teeth regularly is not enough, it needs a floss and mouthwash as well. Yes! flossing could really help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Through flossing it could really help us to clean or take out those small particles of foods from our teeth. By this article, we will learn on how to use floss in a proper way. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

    • http://www.miamidentist4u.com/services.html Arabellemccuen

      Flossing does help maintain good dental condition, aside from regular brushing. I think it’s quite natural for gums to bleed the first time you floss. There are tons of info online where you can find proper guidelines on how to floss your teeth. Molars are usually hard to reach, so better use a toothbrush with soft thin tip bristles instead.