Is flossing really necessary?

Both Dentists and Hygienists are frequently asked, “Is flossing really necessary?” and , “How often should I floss?”

ANSWER: You should FLOSS only the teeth you want to keep!

Not only do you need to brush your teeth twice a day, but flossing once a day is also just as important. Using dental floss is going to benefit your oral health and your overall health greatly.

What happens if you don’t floss?

If you do not floss and allow plaque to remain in between teeth it eventually hardens to a substance known as tartar. Flossing removes the bacteria that escape the toothbrush by hiding in the tiny spaces in between teeth. Unlike plaque which can be easily removed by brushing, tartar can only be removed by your dentist. Brushing without flossing is like washing only 65% of your body. The other 35% remains dirty!

How Do You Use Dental Floss?

Many people find using dental floss very difficult, and because of that they simply do not floss at all. Try the following tips below that may help.

Wind 18 inches of floss around middle fingers of each hand. Pinch floss between thumbs and index fingers leaving a one to two inch length in between. Use thumbs to direct floss between upper teeth.

Keep a one to two inch length of floss taut between fingers. Use index fingers to guide floss between contacts of the lower teeth.

Gently glide floss up and down against the sides of the teeth and under the gum line. Use a circular movement with your fingers as you use the floss. This will help to floss under the gum line without causing any damage.

Slide floss up and down against the tooth surface and under the gum line. Unwind a fresh section of floss for each tooth, winding the unused floss onto the middle finger of your other hand as you go along. Floss each tooth thoroughly with a clean section of floss.

If you still find flossing difficult, you may want to try using a floss holder or floss picks. The floss want holds the floss for you and many people find them very helpful. Floss picks are usually made of plastic with a piece of tightly strung dental floss extending between two points.

Most dentists recommend flossing before going to bed. It is important to make sure that your mouth is clean before you go to sleep, because during sleep the saliva in the mouth, which fights against the effects of bacteria, lessens, giving the bacteria free rein on your mouth and teeth. Flossing is not based on the number of times you floss per day; what’s more important is how effectively you floss. And remember, you can always ask your dentist or dental hygienist to show you if you are uncertain.

Types of dental floss

Dental floss is a cleaning aid and available in a variety of different forms. Some forms are waxed or unwaxed, flavored and unflavored, satin and other varieties that your dentist can suggest based on your teeth and your gums.

What about just using mouthwash?

Flossing is more effective than mouthwash because it really gets in between your teeth and actually removes food particles and plaque left. Using a mouthwash is not as thorough; despite being antibacterial agents, mouthwashes are not as effective as the dental floss.

Benefits of dental flossing

Flossing is very beneficial because it is the most effective technique to prevent a wide variety of oral conditions. You are able to maintain proper dental hygiene, avoid dental problems and avoid bad breath while removing food particles. You will also prevent gum diseases and the risk of developing heart disease is reduced because it slows the progression of any infections and diseases.

You are also going to have healthier, whiter teeth when you floss. Flossing directly contributes to teeth whitening because when you are removing food particles from your teeth you are also cleaning the surface of your teeth. By removing the tiny food particles, plaque and sticky substances, you are making your teeth stronger and cleaning the surface is clean and free from bacteria. Your teeth will be much cleaner, brighter and healthier when you floss.

Remember to call your Dentist or Orthodontist to schedule an appointment for all your specific dental needs.


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