When most people hear the words “how often do you floss” from their hygienist, a flood of excuses as to why they haven’t (or can’t) floss, run through their minds. I can guarantee you that any reason or excuse you can think of in that split second, we will have heard a thousand times! This quick guide on how to floss will help you becoming a flossing pro and overcome those excuses!

Flossing is one of those things that you know you should do but even though it takes a couple of minutes a day, it just can’t find its way into your daily routine.

Why do we need to floss?

Dental floss helps to prevent gum disease by getting rid of pieces of food and plaque from between your teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance made of bacteria. If it builds up, the bacteria can irritate the gums and cause inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) if left can then start to destroy bone (periodontitis). It’s vital that you floss to prevent plaque and gum disease. It keeps your teeth and gums healthy for years to come.


How to Floss

  • Cut off a section of floss about 45cm (18 inches) long. Wind it around the middle fingers of each hand.
  • Grip the floss with your thumb and forefinger of each hand so that the floss between your hands is about 2.5-5cm (1-2 inches) long. Pull it tight so you can insert the floss in a gap between two teeth.
  • Gently guide the floss up and down against the sides of the teeth making a C shape cupping the tooth and under the gumline.
  • Use a circular movement with your fingers as you use the floss. This will help you to floss under the gumline without causing any damage.
  • Unwind a fresh section of floss for each tooth, winding the used floss onto the middle finger of your other hand as you go along.
  • Repeat this process for the next gap, along the side of the next tooth.
  • Make sure you floss between every single tooth. Working to a pattern round the whole of your mouth makes it less likely that you’ll miss out any teeth.
  • Remember to floss the side of the teeth at the back of your mouth.
  • Then dispose of the used floss.


Alternatives to Flossing?

If flossing really isn’t for you then don’t worry, there are alternatives out there!

  • If you have tight contacts between your teeth, you could try a tape instead of a floss, tape doesn’t break or snag as easily as floss.
  • Glides have a plastic handle with a piece of dental tape attached to it, to make cleaning between your teeth less fiddly.  Just remember to rinse between each tooth.
  • Interdental Brushes, look like little bottle brushes and come in different sizes, to fit most gaps. Interdental brushes need to create friction between the teeth to remove the plaque effectively, so you may need a few different size brushes to fit the different spaces between your teeth.
  • Waterpik and Airflosser are basically a jet washer system for teeth, they works by squirting high pressure water or water and air between your teeth, this blasts the plaque and food debris out from each space.

Next time you are searching for an excuse as to why you haven’t flossed, why not ask about the alternatives instead!

What do you find hardest about flossing? Let us know in the comments!

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COVID-19 Information

Hello to everyone, we trust that you are safe and well.

All of us at Churchfield Dental Centre would like to thank you all for your support through these very unusual times.

With the recent move to Tier 3 restrictions we want to let you know that the Practice will remain open throughout this period and continue to provide our usual services.

As you all know the Practice is fully operational and we have rigorous Covid safeguarding procedures in place for all our patients and staff, ensuring that you are all entering a safe environment when attending for your dental care.

We would like to give a few additional reminders:

·       Please complete your emailed Covid forms prior to attending your appointment (this form is sent prior to every appointment).

·       Please arrive at the clinic at your appointment time or if you are too early and you've travelled by car, please wait in your car, this will avoid minimal people contact at clinic reception.

·       Pay by Card where possible.

·       We are recording patient temperatures upon arrival.

·       Our customer toilets will be out of use, unless in emergencies.

·       Please wear a mask to enter the practice, and wear it correctly (if you are exempt please let us know before your appointment and we will do our best to accommodate you)

·       Please sanitise your hands on arrival, and again when leaving.


Once again thank you for your understanding and support.

We look forward to seeing you soon.