Do you visit the dentist regularly? Most people go to the dentist only when they have a problem with their teeth. Like any other check up, dental checks are important. The mouth can be a harbinger for things to come. Every dentist will stress the need for flossing, but few patients actually follow it. There is also a right way to floss. Flossing is not just about removing debris from the mouth. It is also to prevent the buildup of bacteria.
People do not understand the importance of flossing. They brush their teeth twice a day, and feel that they are doing everything right to make sure that their teeth is clean. But what they don’t realize is that brushing the teeth with a toothbrush, cleans only the outer exposed surfaces of the teeth. The teeth are individual pieces with gaps between them. This space between the teeth needs to be cleaned too. You will find ads that say, a toothbrush or toothpaste is designed in such a way that it takes care of the space between the teeth. Maybe, some do to an extent, but nothing can take the place of flossing. Flossing takes care of interdental space.
How the different procedures for your tooth work
The toothbrush removes plaque which is a bacterial film that covers the open surfaces of the teeth. Toothpaste adds and enhances that, because it contains fluoride that helps decrease the amount of bacteria in your mouth. A mouthwash also helps avoid bacteria, and like the toothbrush can partially remove the bacteria from the interdental cavity. To round it off, flossing must be done to ensure that your teeth are white and shiny and free from bacteria.
The tartar and plaque buildup not only looks ugly, gives off a bad odor but also creates a buildup of bacteria. When you floss as often as you brush, this build up is prevented. If you let the bacteria build up, it could lead to inflammation and swelling off the gums and in the worst case scenario, you may end up with cavities, and the tooth may have to be extracted.
What is the Right Way to Floss?
To floss the right way, here are some tips
- Take out 18 inches of floss, wind one end of the floss around the middle fingers of both hands, leaving a stretch of floss between them to use.
- Stretch the piece of floss string between your two fingers tightly.
- Now slide it into the interdental area and move it up and down.
- Curve the floss under the base of each tooth, making sure that it reaches below the gum line.
- Now move it between the teeth around the gum line
- This must be done gently as the gums are sensitive and could get cut or bruised if flossed forcefully.
- As you finish each area, wind the used floss around one middle finger while unwinding a bit of clean floss from the other middle finger.
- What kind of floss should you use?
There are nylon and PTFE floss. Nylon is available in a waxed form or unwaxed and comes in different flavors. The one drawback is that the nylon is made of thinner, smaller stands that may tear or break when you are flossing. PTFE floss is more expensive, but is made of a single filament that is easier to use.
If you are still unsure about how exactly to use the floss, consult your dentist. He will show you how to use the floss correctly. Floss everyday and keep the dentist away!!