Say "Yes" to Flossing
Gum disease occurs when plaque, the sticky stuff that forms on teeth in response to bacteria, stays on the teeth for an extended period of time and forms tartar. It usually occurs in two stages: gingivitis, when the gums are red and swollen and bleed easily, and periodontitis, which is a bacterial gum infection due to a larger buildup of tartar.
Floss to prevent gum disease
Wrap dental floss around each index finger, leaving a short strand between them. Thread this strand between the teeth and under the gum line, using a back and forth motion. After each tooth, move to a clean section of floss. Make sure to gently push the floss up between the gums and teeth, not just between the teeth. Floss twice daily or as directed by your dentist.
Why It Works
Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between the teeth and above the gum line. This helps to prevent plaque buildup, and reduces the chance of inflammation and infection. Using floss with other proper dental hygiene can even cure a gum infection, provided the infection has not progressed too far.
Be sure to see a dentist at the first sign of gum disease, as this can become a serious problem if not properly treated. Do not force floss up under the gum line, as this may lead to pain and bleeding.