Floss Smell Bad? That’s not good


It’s time; you’re going to heed the words of your dentist and start flossing…finally.

So, today being a new day, you endeavor to include this action into your oral routine. However, when performing this task, you’ve discover an offensive odour, that is slightly analogous to West Texas road kill.

So, what’s going on here, and is a bad  floss smell normal? Well it’s not normal, but it is very common.

Professionally speaking, there’s not a person on the planet who hasn’t experienced this fragrant bouquet at some point, and yes, it does causes bad breath, and gum disease so please read on.

If the floss smells bad, it means that food particles, usually meat, or some other type of fibrous organic is getting trapped in the space between the teeth. It’s been allowed to sit in this space for 24 plus hours and is basically rotting/fermenting/decomposing/ and just plain getting skanky. What you’re smelling on the floss is the sulfur gas produced by this process.

There are multiple conditions that can cause this but the most common is what we in the dental community call an “open contact”. An open contact occurs when the teeth do not meet one another in the ideal position. You have an open contact if the floss slides in-between the teeth without an audible click or pop; It just goes in-between without any resistance at all. Know that each time you eat, food will get packed into this area. Food can still get trapped in-between the teeth without open contacts, but open contacts just make it easier.

OK, so now you know why the floss reeks like the bottom of a bait bucket, but what can you do about it right? Well, plain and simply, you must floss…DAILY. Yes, I know it sucks, but think of it as breath control. Think about how many more deals you’re going to close when your breath is not mandating a federally funded quarantine zone. Think about the confidence that comes from knowing that your breath is inviting, as opposed to repelling.

To eliminate bad breath, stinky floss smell,  prevent  gingivitis, and avoid the dreaded full plate denture, perform this routine at night, just before bed. Yes, It involves dental floss.

  • Brush your teeth. Know that there is a right way and a wrong way to brush. If you are brushing your teeth the same way you did back in the third grade you need to change. There is a tooth brushing method call the Bass Method. Plain and simply it’s the best; Learn it, Live it, Love it. If you need help with this or want a toothbrush specifically made for the Bass method, you can get them on Amazon. They are called the MD Brush and it will force you to think and brush like a dental professional utilizing the correct 45 degree, until it becomes second nature. It truly is a revolutionary brush; just read the Amazon reviews. Do not brush in circles or up and down unless you have been advised to do so by your dentist.
  • Floss. Remember you are trying to scrape the goop off the sides of the teeth, so make sure to pull and push against the teeth as you slide the floss down in-between. Simply popping the floss in- between, and then back out again. is not enough. Floss and repeat until the floss don’t stink. Oh, and those little wish bone floss assist tools that come in 50 packs…NOT a fan. They provide a false sense of security and are only marginally effective. If you’re going to floss, do it right and use the old school string; It’s better.
  • Brush again (Bass Method), but this time instead of using toothpaste, use Listerine mouthwash. You will be brushing with a liquid, so it will be running down your arm and making a mess.

NOTE: DO NOT RINSE THE LISTERINE OUT, just let it linger. It will continue to kill bacteria for up to 5 hours provided you don’t rinse or drink anything.

NOTEWhen you floss if you see blood it does not mean you have traumatized yourself. It means you have just discovered where bacteria is growing and you need to brush and floss more in that specific area. Healthy gums WILL NOT bleed, and I don’t care what your grandma says.

Preforming your home oral care like this will yield immediate results. But remember, the bacteria in your mouth will never take a vacation, call in sick, or quit. All they do is grow, multiply, and release toxins, so your floss can return to a stinky state in as little as 24 hours.

Written By, Mike Davidson – Maverick Dental Hygienist and CEO