Flossing What are the benefits of flossing? Flossing will help keep your mouth clean and your breath smelling good. Brushing your teeth isn't enough to keep your teeth clean. When you brush, parts of your teeth are hard to reach. Bits of food can remain stuck there even after brushing. Flossing can remove these stubborn bits of food. Flossing is also a good way to remove the plaque that can build up in your mouth. Plaque is a sticky covering of bacteria on the teeth. Tooth decay and gum problems will develop unless it's removed. If you haven’t been flossing, your gums might bleed when you start. This should stop after a few days but if it doesn’t, call your dentist. It’s never too late to start flossing. Even if you never have flossed before, start now! When should I floss? Flossing once a day will help to keep your teeth and gums healthy. It doesn’t matter if you floss first or brush first – just be sure to do both! How should I floss? Use about 18 inches of floss. Hold the floss stretched tight between your thumb and first finger. Gently curve the floss around the bottom of each tooth making sure that you go under the gum line. Don’t force the floss into the gums or snap it hard. Your gums are delicate and could be hurt. Slide the floss gently up and down between your teeth.