Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My gums bleed when I floss.

This is something that I hear a lot around the office.
I find cavities in folks and I ask them how their flossing is.
They say that they don't floss because every time they do their gums bleed.

The philosophy of not doing something to your self because it makes you bleed,
is normally a very good one to live by. 
For instance I don't stab myself with forks because
 if I did it would cause me to bleed.

However, when it comes to flossing the opposite may apply.

Lets take learning to play the guitar for a comparison.
When you are learning to play the guitar it is not uncommon for the ends
of your fingers to bleed a little bit.

This is because you fingers are not used to the stress you are putting them through.
But does this mean that you weren't meant to play the guitar and that you should quit.
No. It means that you are a newbie to guitar playing and that the more you play
the LESS your fingers will bleed as they become accustomed to your playing.\

The same can be said for flossing.
If your gums bleed does that mean that you
 just weren't meant to floss and that you should stop?
It means that you are a newbie (or recently returned after a long vacation) to flossing.
The more you floss the LESS your gums will bleed.
This will continue until they do not bleed at all anymore.

So for all you aspiring guitar players, and flossers, out there my advice is 
that you just keep going.
Things will get better and it will become more comfortable as you go.


  1. What are your thoughts on the water pick ? I have tried to floss my 6 year olds teeth and get her to floss buying all the different kinds of flossers and floss and I cannot get her to do it without strapping her down holding her mouth open and traumatizing her for life... (which of course I am not going to do) I bought a water pick and what I have been doing is using the water pick on her while she is in the bath and she actually like it !! Do you think this is enough or do I need to keep trying with flossing ?

  2. Thanks for your question. Yes flossing kids is tough. I have 5 kids myself. Water pics are great. My kids also have one. There is however, no replacing the floss. Sadly the floss must clear out the contact point between the teeth. In some people that point is so tight that only floss will do it. It may be that that space is not so tight and a water pic may help but its a coin toss on that. If sugar content is low then a once a week floss, if its thorough, should be enough.