A lot of people undermine the importance of flossing. They hate the idea of using a dental floss, thinking that toothbrush is enough. Whether we like it or not, using dental floss is an essential part of oral hygiene. Here’s why.
Best Dental Floss
The best type of dental floss is a matter of preference. What is best for you may not be best for others. The important thing is to always follow correct technique when flossing. The following are some of the basic types of dental floss you can choose from.
- Unwaxed Dental Floss
This is a thin nylon yarn which is composed of 35 strands altogether. This is best used for closely spaced teeth. However, it can be prone to fraying or breaking.
- Waxed Floss
This is more durable and resistant than the unwaxed type. It is more or less like the unwaxed dental floss, but is coated with a light layer of wax. The downside of this kind of wax is that the wax can make it hard to use in tight spaces between the teeth.
- Polytetrafluoro-ethylene Floss
This dental floss is made from a special synthetic fiber. It is most useful for cleaning the areas between closely-spaced teeth and around the gums.
- Super Floss
This yarn-like fabric floss features stiffer portions on its ends. These stiff ends are designed to clean bridges, braces and implants. It has unwaxed portions which make it perfect for regular flossing as well.
- Dental Tape
This is relatively flatter and broader than regular floss. If your teeth are not tightly spaced, this is the perfect floss to use.
Why Do We Need to Use Dental Floss?
Brushing alone is not enough. Even if you thoroughly brush your teeth, there are food and plaque that you cannot reach and clean. With floss, you get to reach those areas, particularly the spaces between the teeth and around the gums. So why is it important to use dental floss? Flossing and brush help a lot in achieving cleaner teeth. Not only that, regular flossing also reduces gum bleeding, prevents plaque build, and polishes tooth surfaces. As a result, it helps prevent gum disease.
People who don’t floss are at risk of cavity buildup and gingivitis. These dental issues are normally caused of dental plaque buildup. Studies show that there are more than a thousand bacteria found in a dental plaque. These bacteria irritate the gum tissue and eventually give rise to gingivitis. The buildup plaque can also promote the growth of harmful bacteria in the teeth and the spaces between. These bacteria will eventually harm and damage the enamel in the teeth, forming cavities.
How to Use Dental Floss
There are various kinds of dental floss. You can choose the one that’s right for your teeth or the one you prefer. There are flosses that are designed to make it easier for the user. There are also advanced ones that help clean the areas under the gum line and between the teeth. You can ask your dentist as to what floss is best for you.
But the key to achieving the best results is correct technique. If you know how to floss properly, you will effectively remove the plaque buildup and food particles in your teeth and gums. This is vital to the improvement of your oral health. Aside from applying the correct technique, you must also wash your hands thoroughly before you reach in to floss. The following are the easy steps to follow when you floss:
- Use enough floss
Break a long enough floss. 18 inches is the average length to use. You need enough floss to really clean your teeth and gums, particularly the hard-to-reach parts. When flossing, you just wrap a part of the floss around your index finger of your one hand and another around a finger of your other hand. This will make it easy to control the thread when flossing.
- Slide the floss between the teeth
Just slide the dental floss gently into the spaces between your teeth. Do it gently and in a zigzag motion. Make sure that you are getting the lodged food or plaque. And be careful not to snap the floss in the process.
- Make a C-Shape
Use this technique when cleaning the gum line or the areas around it. Just form a C out of the floss dental and wrap it around the tooth, then carefully pull it upward or downward from the gum line to the top part of the tooth.
- Roll along
Make sure that you cover all the necessary parts. Just roll along. Move and work from one tooth to the next. You can use your thumb as a guide as you clean from one tooth to the next.
- Reach both sides
Do not just clean the front part of the tooth. The back side is as equally important.
You must use a dental floss at least twice a day. Many dentists recommend that you must use dental floss before you brush your teeth and not after. This is because flossing removes the food lodged in between the teeth and the gum line. This makes it easy for your toothbrush to clean these parts. You can use dental floss once in the morning and again before going to bed. Remember that oral hygiene is not just about brushing and flossing. You really need to take care of your mouth. And you can do that best with the help of a dentist.