General Question

Fieryspoon's avatar

How much will I need to floss to get healthy gums?

Asked by Fieryspoon (1058points) October 9th, 2008

My dentist just yelled at me for not flossing. Until recently, using Listerine and my electric toothbrush “with floss action” was enough, but now I’m wearing a retainer on my bottom teeth at night. This has complicated the whole affair, and now I need to floss for real. I forgot to ask the dentist this question though.

How many times will I need to floss before my gums stop bleeding? Will it take days? weeks? months?

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11 Answers

Les's avatar

A week of flossing once or twice a day and you should see no more blood.

bodyhead's avatar

Yea. It’s about 4 days to a week. The blood will at first start to not happen between all your teeth and only a few of them. Then by the time you’re in your second week, you should only occasionally see blood.

I only floss once a day myself. I hate to do it.

Les's avatar

I can’t floss my teeth, man… I can’t get into the flossing thing. People who smoke cigarettes, they say “man, you don’t know how hard it is to quit smoking.” Yes I do. It’s as hard as it is to start flossing!
Mitch Hedberg

Fieryspoon's avatar

Okay, cool. Thanks :)

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

My suggestion is to get a flosser with a handle. It helps tremendously, but in flossing action and not causing bleeding gums.

Fieryspoon's avatar

In addition to the night retainer I have now, I also have permanent retainers on top and bottom, so a flosser won’t really work :( It’s super inconvenient.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

According to dentist, “Dr. Boyd” from Lancaster, CA, “Your gums may bleed and be sore for the first few days. As the plaque is broken up and the bacteria are removed, your gums will heal and the bleeding will stop.”

Sorry, Fieryspoon, I’ve been there man, you have to use the threaders, right? with the needle-thing in the end? It makes flossing SOO annoying…I only flossed like 4 times the entirety of my 2 year hate-only affair with braces.

I’ve never heard of a permanent retainer. Do you ever get to get rid of it?

Fieryspoon's avatar

Nope, I get to keep it forever. I suppose I’ll just have to learn to love the threaders.


Thanks everyone :)

Magnus's avatar


gailcalled's avatar

My technician says that flossing takes care of 90% of dental issues, if done often. I keep a roll in my purse (for red lights or traffic jams) by computer (for long reads), near TV (or commercials), and next to bed (for the times when Milo is on top.)

farb22's avatar

Try using the Water-Pik. It replaces flossing and gives your gums a massage at the same time. It solves the problem for people with braces or bridgework. I like it. You can also use a peroxide solution or even mouthwash diluted in the water. Leaves your mouth refreshed.

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