Brushing and flossing are very important for gum health. Our modern diets include a lot of sugary sticky processed foods, and we do not have as rough or fibrous a diet as we used to.
We should aim to brush carefully morning and night and to floss every day. We are increasingly impressed by the range of good electric tooth brushes available – they make a big difference to how clean we can keep our mouths.
Manual brushing still has a place alongside an electric brush, particularly when the teeth are misaligned and it's difficult to get in at the gum margin. When there is bone loss and recession of the gum, there are often gaps between the teeth. We recommend the use of inter-dental brushes (like mini bottle brushes).
Flossing is needed to remove the plaque from between the teeth, at and below the gum margin. This is especially important when the space is too small for an inter-dental brush to go through. If you find the floss shreds, you need some attention from your dentist to correct the problem – there should be no rough edges!
Don't get too hung up on brushing methods – it's important to remember what we're trying to achieve. We need to clean the teeth, particularly at the gum margin and between the teeth.