11 May 2020

Covid19 Do I need to Floss?

While we’re in Covid19 Lock-down it’s a great opportunity to improve your oral hygiene. Floss could be the key!

The number one excuse we get from patients is that they do not have enough time to achieve ideal oral hygiene in their busy daily lives. Well heck, we’ve all got loads of time now. There’s no more long commutes to and from work! So, let’s help you out with a few tips to keep those teeth and gums healthy.

Both tooth decay and gum disease are bacterial infections. And these infections are preventable.

Unhealthy food and drink choices, that are high in sugar and acid, feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay. During this period people have less access to takeaways and poor food options and this will also potentially have a beneficial affect on your oral health.

The key to excellent oral hygiene is the physical removal of food debris and plaque bacteria from your teeth and gums. This involves flossing at least once a day and brushing with a fluoride tooth paste at least twice a day.


To be fair I just would just love it if everyone flossed once a day. In an ideal world floss at night. If you floss at night, then you are removing all the food that has got caught in between your teeth during the day. And this means it is not sitting there all-night causing an infection.

You also want to floss before you brush. This is possibly a reverse of what we have been taught. Then rinse out your mouth with water to remove all the debris that you have dislodged by flossing. This then allows the Fluoride toothpaste to actually reach your tooth surface to help remineralise and protect your teeth when you brush.

If your gums bleed when you floss, don’t stop flossing. Bleeding means that you have some level of gum infection. With regular flossing this will improve your gum health and the bleeding will stop.

A few years ago, the media grabbed onto one dental study that suggested that flossing had no beneficial effect on Oral Health. From my 23 years of experience, patients who floss regularly have little, or no, tooth or gum problems. If you want to use this as an excuse, that’s OK, but you will spend more money at your dentist trying to achieve and maintain good oral health.


Research shows us that if we all brush with a Fluoride toothpaste for 2 minutes twice a day, we will have a much lower chance of tooth decay. Its that simple.

After brushing we need to spit out the excess fluoride toothpaste. But do not rinse with water. By doing this the toothpaste stays on your teeth to protect them. Do not have anything to eat or drink for an hour after brushing and this allows the toothpaste to keep on working.

So, Do I Need to Floss? The answer is yes. It will make a fantastic improvement to your oral health, reduce the chance of pain and infection and save you money when you next visit your dentist.