Why do dental floss turn white?

How to use dental floss correctly and why you should use it

Cleaning your teeth and gums by removing plaque bacteria is the best way to protect against gum disease, but the space between your teeth is difficult to reach with a toothbrush alone. Dental floss is a better way of removing plaque from between the teeth and below the gumline (where the gums and teeth meet).

Although interdental brushes are effective at cleaning these hard-to-reach areas, sometimes the space between teeth is too small for such a brush, making floss a great alternative.


When using dental floss, the right technique plays a crucial role. Here is our simple guide on how to floss properly:

  1. Always be gentle when using dental floss to avoid damaging your gums.
  2. Cut a piece of dental floss about 18 inches long and wrap the ends around the middle fingers on each hand.
  3. Hold a piece of dental floss about an inch long between your thumb and forefinger.
  4. Insert the floss into the space between your teeth with a gentle back and forth motion.
  5. When the floss reaches the gumline, press it against the tooth in a C-shape.
  6. Press the floss against one side of the tooth and use the floss to gently scrape the plaque up and away from the gums. Repeat this process for the other tooth in this space.
  7. Don't forget the back of the last tooth.
  8. Follow a systematic approach to ensure that you don't forget a tooth.

If you are unsure how to properly use the floss, ask your dentist or hygienist about the correct technique.

Blood may be seen first when flossing, but this bleeding should subside quickly. If bleeding gums persist after a few days while flossing, it could be a sign of gum disease. It is important to discuss this with your dentist, who can examine the health of your gums and advise you about treatment options for gum disease.

How often should you use dental floss?

Many people are unsure how often to floss or whether to use it before or after brushing their teeth. Interdental brushes or dental floss to clean your teeth should be used once a day before brushing your teeth.