Oh no, not again! WHY oh WHY do I need to floss??
So why do I need to floss my teeth, if it only bleeds when I do, the dental floss gets stuck between my teeth and it is so time consuming?

Here are the answers:

My gums bleed when I floss:
Gums bleed because they are infected, this is because they have not been cleaned properly between the teeth, yes with the floss…
So, the more you floss, the less the gums would bleed, because you are getting rid of the low grade gum infection.  If you poke softly on healthy skin, it would not bleed, if you do the exact same on infected, red, swollen and inflamed skin, you most probably would break the skin and it would bleed profusely… Exactly the same with bleeding gums and flossing!

The floss gets stuck between my teeth:
In 99% of the cases where floss gets stuck, it is most probably an old filling (one of those silver fillings) which is not put in flush with the tooth. This means you can get the floss in, but cannot get it out unless you pull it sideways!  A simple dental x-ray would confirm this, and it is then best to replace the ill-fitting filling and/or crown, with a computer generated porcelain filling and/or crown.  Ill fitting crowns or fillings promotes, as we see now, gum problems and tooth decay.  If one cannot floss in a problem area like this, the gums will ALWAYS bleed, and there would, inevitably be tooth decay. (Notice that I said CAN NOT floss, instead of DOES NOT floss). In these cases of floss getting stuck and torn between the problem areas, there is nothing you can do about this.  You would have to go and see your dentist, so that an x-ray is taken, to confirm an ill fitting filling.  Once these fillings have been replaced properly, you would be able to floss easily!

I’m too tired to floss:

Once you have solved the abovementioned problems, flossing should be effortless and quick. This should not take you longer than 2 minutes once per day in the evenings before you go to bed. Get the right technique from your dentist and within a week or two flossing should be second nature. Always floss in front of a mirror, so that you can see exactly what you are doing! If you want to skip, keep in mind that all the food trapped between your teeth will start to ferment whilst you sleep… this causes severe bad breath, gum disease and eventually tooth decay… This should be motivation enough to floss every evening!  What is two minutes?

Happy flossing!

By Dr. Adé Meyer