A lot of people don’t floss regularly and believe that brushing twice a day is enough. Brushing your teeth and using mouthwash will not guarantee a clean mouth. You need to floss DAILY to ensure excellent oral health.
The Importance of Flossing
Brushing your teeth combined with flossing will help remove plaque and other leftover foods. By brushing your teeth, you scrub the surfaces, which is helpful. Meanwhile, flossing will allow you to reach in-between areas and clean what’s underneath the gum line.
If the areas aren’t cleaned properly, the plaque will harden and turn into tartar, which can only be removed by a dentist. Tartar can lead to various dental problems, like decay, cavities, bad breath and gum disease.
Remember, you can have the best toothbrush, but it can’t clean in between your teeth or underneath the gum line. What it can do is to clean the back and front of your teeth. So, if you’re not flossing, you aren’t cleaning your mouth thoroughly.
How to Floss Correctly
Flossing is easy! Here is a simple step-by-step guide:
- Pull out 45cms of floss and wrap the ends around your fingertips for better control.
- Slide the floss between your teeth gently. Be careful not to apply too much pressure on the gums; otherwise, bleeding may occur if you haven’t flossed in some time. Additionally, this could also be a sign of inflammation. As you continue to floss regularly, gum swelling will subside. If it persists, talk to your dentist.
- Curve the floss around each tooth and rub it up and down to scrape away plaque.
- Don’t do any sawing motions with the floss because it can irritate the gums, damage soft tissues, etc.
- Floss both sides of the teeth and beneath the gum line gently. It is recommended to spend 10 seconds on each side.
What Type of Floss Should You Buy
There are different types of floss you can get today, but the kind will depend on your oral health needs and personal preference. Let’s say you have widely spaced teeth; in this case, a thicker floss would be better to use compared to thinner ones.
Some alternative flossing tools to help to floss easier:
- Dental tape: This is ideal for individuals with sensitive gums. Dental tape is an ultrathin floss that is smooth, waxed and spongy. It is thinner and wider than traditional floss that will let you glide between your teeth more easily.
- Floss threaders: This can help speed up the traditional flossing process.
- Interdental brushes: This is designed to fit in-between the teeth. The brushes come in various sizes.
- Oral irrigators: This uses a steady stream of water to clean between the teeth and along the gum line.
Flossing regularly is important. It’s normal to feel discomfort and notice bleeding when you first start to floss. However, after you do it for a few weeks, you will notice your gums feel better, and the bleeding will stop. Should you continue to experience discomfort, you will need to consult your dentist.
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