I recently started flossing regularly.

However, I'm not sure if I'm doing it right because sometimes my gums bleed. If I floss the right way, should it never bleed?

Aside from bleeding, how can I know if flossing makes a positive effect? What should I notice in 2 weeks time? How about 4 weeks? 3 months? 1 year?

  • 1
    Consider consulting your dentist or dental hygienist. Upon consultation, doctor specifically showed me how much is the maximum pressure I should use. She also told me to expect bleeding before the gums get used to it. Jun 9, 2016 at 12:58

1 Answer 1


Dental flossing, essentially is done to maintain periodontal health, in hard to reach areas. Areas which are not used to any "friction" so, they will react in a rather singular manner in comparison to our exposed gums, per say. Thus, providing you presently have good oral health i.e. you don't have gingivitis which causes bleeding of the gums amidst brushing.

Initially, flossing will cause inflammation and minor bleeding however, if the bleeding is rather severe it could indicate a periodontal disease and require medical intervention. Gums, if they are "virgins" to interdental flossing scene, will be tender, and this is common amongst nearly all whom who haven't flossed. So, despite your concern, they will become more firm once the plaque has been plausibly removed. As your gums become less tender, they will hence become less sensitive and no longer bleed as you floss.

Albeit, if the bleeding still prevails after a period of a week, it would be advised to either, refresh your knowledge on how to floss, or pay a visit to your dentist. The latter could conclude that, you are incorrectly flossing e.g. too much pressure and rigor.

It's difficult to judge when you'll become apparent of the benefits since, the greatest improvements will initially happen beyond your eye's magnification. This study may cure your curiosity, though.

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    Couldn't we rephrase that: if it bleeds, you're doing wrong? (and there might be additional problems present) [although anecdotal, 5 visits to dentist: no bleeds; started it myself: bleeding; revisit to get advice: less and less bleeding as technique improved]. Merely touching the gums should not lead to bleeding, but injury does, repeated and even frequent injury is not good for the gums either. Sep 12, 2017 at 7:07
  • @LangLangC No, since that's simply not the case. The second to last paragraph addressed that specifically ;)
    – user19679
    Sep 18, 2017 at 19:00

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