How Does Brushing And Flossing Help Your Gums?

kania-brushing-flossingYour entire life you’ve heard again and again that you need to brush your teeth and floss regularly. You understand how this impacts your teeth, but how does brushing and flossing help your gums? Patients are often surprised to learn that routine maintenance can help you maintain a healthy smile and reduce the risk of gum problems.

Frequently Asked Questions about Gum Health, Brushing, and Flossing

Question: How do you brush properly?

Answer: We first recommend purchasing a toothbrush with soft bristles. Brushing too hard with medium or hard bristles can not only potentially wear down enamel, but also irritate the gums. You should brush your teeth twice a day, once when you wake up and again before going to bed. Doing so helps control the amount of plaque on your teeth between cleanings, reducing the risk of periodontal problems.

Question: Why do we need to floss?

Answer: We need to floss because doing so is actually more important for controlling plaque buildup and preventing both gingivitis and gum disease than brushing. You should floss gently on either side of every tooth before going to bed each night. A toothbrush can’t reach the bacterial plaque and food particles caught between your teeth, only floss can.

Question: What are the warning signs of gingivitis?

Answer: Gingivitis can be reversed, which is why you need to be aware of the warning signs and see a periodontist before gum disease (which is incurable) starts. Be aware of any changes to your gum tissue or bleeding and contact your dentist or periodontist right away.

Question: When should I see a periodontitis?

Answer: Potential warning signs of poor gum health includes redness, soreness, or bleeding when you brush or floss. Gum recession, bad breath, and even loose teeth could be signs you need to see a professional right away. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a visit, then please contact our office today.


As a board-certified periodontist, Dr. Ann M. Kania is specially qualified to diagnose and treat issues concerning periodontal tissue and the supportive structures of a patient’s smile, as well as place dental implants to restore teeth lost to dental disease or trauma. Dr. Kania also offers the Pinhole® Surgical Technique (PST) for minimally-invasive, scalpel-free gum grafting. To seek Dr. Kania’s expertise, contact her office today at (760) 642-0711.