Ever been to a really important business dinner and feeling extremely uncomfortable because that tiny piece of chicken stuck in the gap between your two front teeth? If this sounds familiar, flossing may just be the right thing for you. In spite of a huge debate on whether or not flossing is necessary, mandatory or optional; let’s admit that if nothing, flossing definitely cleans the tricky spaces between your teeth where a brush can’t. 

The latest dietary guidelines released by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has omitted flossing as a mandatory or needful practice. However, it is imperative to consider that these dietary guidelines were based only on the study of sugar intake and were not derived from an in depth study on ‘flossing.’ This may be the reason why they were eliminated from the recommendations. However, this does bring us to an important question “Is flossing necessary?”

The answer depends on what you can and want to get out of it. Flossing has many benefits when included as part of a daily dental hygiene regimen. 

Tooth Decay

Flossing helps us to get rid of food particles that are lodged between the tooth gaps. This helps to prevent the production of acid developing bacteria that thrive on these food particles and eventually decay or destroy the tooth enamel. 


Gingivitis is a periodontal disease that causes inflammation of gums due to bacteria infestation between teeth. As flossing removes food lodged between teeth, it definitely provides relief from gingivitis. 

Bad Breath

Everyone knows that food stuck between the teeth begins to decay, causing poor oral hygiene and bad breath. Flossing helps to remove the particles, promoting better oral hygiene. 


If nothing else convinced you of the benefits of flossing, discomfort might. Food lodged between your gums or between your teeth can cause a great deal of discomfort. Flossing helps to relieve that. 

One might wonder if flossing has so many benefits and no harm, what is the debate about? The expert orthodontists at South Georgetown Dental speak about one major concern in flossing which is not knowing how to correctly floss your teeth. More than often patients arrive at a dental practice with damaged or injured gums due to incorrect flossing techniques. It is imperative that even though flossing does not have any side effects, the right technique must be followed by the patients to ensure maximum benefits from flossing. Here is a four step approach to getting the flossing spot on:

  1. Use 8 to 24 inches of floss and wind it around your middle finger till you get about 1-2 inches of floss to work with. 
  2. Hold the floss firmly between your thumb and index finger. Then slide the floss using many repetitive movements in a vertical direction.
  3. Gently press the floss between your gum line and tooth, along the curve of the tooth. Be cautious, as too much pressure can cut, damage your gum line. 
  4. Use a new length of floss for each tooth. 

If you are not sure about the tight technique for flossing, visit the nearest Georgetown dentist to get the right guidance and more information on flossing.

South Georgetown Dental is a dental practice devoted to providing best in class dental health services through state-of-the-art procedures, counselling and helping people make positive health choices.