Do I Have to Floss?

Monday, 17 October 2022
Written by

Is it Essential to Floss?

The short answer is NO. There are plenty of options besides floss for cleaning between your teeth if flossing is difficult. Even the healthiest diet will result in plaque and plaque acids being deposited on your teeth. To prevent gum problems and dental decay, all of the plaque needs to be removed regularly.

Toothbrushing twice a day will clean approximately 60% of the surfaces of the teeth. The remaining 40% of surfaces of the teeth will need the help of some of the other gadgets that are available. The surfaces between your teeth are called the “Interproximal surfaces” and these make up the 40% of the surfaces that your toothbrush cannot reach.  There are many different Interproximal gadgets that are available to clean these areas.


Flossing or interproximal cleaning can be done any time of the day, so long as it is done at least once every 24 hours.

There are many different brands of floss available, and there is not really a brand that is better than any other. Some people prefer the feeling of waxed or tape or flavoured floss. It is really a personal preference. There are types of eco-friendly floss available now which are made completely from corn-starch! This option is vegan and fully compostable.

Reach Access Flosser or Flossettes

There are gadgets such as the Reach Access Flosser which is fantastic for children and those with limited dexterity from arthritis, big hands, and disabilities.


X-Floss or Superfloss

These pre-cut lengths of floss are fantastic for cleaning under bridges, implants and under orthodontic wires. One end of the floss is stiff to allow easy threading where you want it to go. Here at Grandis Dental we prefer X-Floss as it tends to be less likely to shred.



These little brushes go between your teeth. There are many brands available and a lot of sizes to choose from. Here at Grandis Dental, we like   These are available in different sizes and are the most biodegradable and sustainable interproximal brushes that are available. It is important to choose the size that smoothly slides between your teeth without being forced. Using an interproximal brush that is too big for a gap is likely to cause the gum to recede, and it will not grow back. These little brushes are great for cleaning around orthodontic braces.




These are an expensive but worthwhile investment in maintaining your oral hygiene. Waterpiks are an electric appliance that use a stream of water under force to remove food particles from between the teeth and to massage the​ gums. They have a refillable water tank and have changeable heads, much like an electric toothbrush, so that several family members can share a single unit. Waterpiks are ideal for those with limited dexterity, braces and gum problems.



Toothpicks have been used for many years to clean between teeth. Unfortunately, toothpicks made of wood are not recommended as they frequently break in the mouth and sometimes leave splinters in the gum, which can lead to infections. If you like the feeling of a toothpick between your teeth, try a proxibrush.



There is no need to include a commercial mouthwash in your daily oral care routine.  There is no mouthwash that can replace flossing.

Commercial mouthwash products are ineffective at removing the bad bacteria that live under the gum but will kill off the good bacteria that keep your mouth healthy. They will leave stubborn stains on your teeth that can only be removed by a dental professional and can sometimes alter your taste sensation. Current research concludes that mouthwashes will not “blast” bacteria from under your gums.