Why is flossing essential? Brushing alone is not enough for healthy and strong teeth. Flossing is equally important for dental health. Know the correct ways of doing so.
Do you floss daily or find an excuse not to? Flossing is equally important like brushing so it’s very important that you floss regularly and in the right way. Flossing is even more important than brushing when it comes to preventing gum disease and tooth loss. Dental floss is a bundle of thin filaments used to remove food and dental plaque from teeth and is gently inserted between teeth and scraped along the teeth sides, especially close to the gums or underneath them. Doctors recommend daily flossing and there are important reasons and easy ways of doing so:
- Plaque causes tooth decay, gingivitis, periodontal disease and eventually tooth loss. Flossing is more about removing dental plaque than food particles. Hence, daily flossing or using an interdental cleaner is the only good way to remove plaque. Flossing isn’t easy but daily practice will make you perfect. If you are not too sure, visit your dentist for a demonstration.
- Wrap the floss mostly around your middle finger of one hand and the rest around the other middle finger. Hold the floss firmly between your thumbs and forefingers and clean gently between teeth in a shoeshine motion. Start with one tooth and repeat the process in the rest of the teeth.
- Flossing daily removes unseen and stubborn debris between teeth that brushing alone cannot do. By flossing teeth daily, you increase chances of keeping your teeth strong and clean for a lifetime and reduce risk of developing gum problems. It can even help one get rid of bad breath.
- Flossing is an important part of your daily oral hygiene. If you are not too confident of the traditional way of flossing, try Y-shaped floss holders for doing so.
- Before flossing keep your hands clean. If you have braces, bridges or other dental fixtures, talk to your dentist about brushing and flossing properly.
- Floss twice when you brush and also when you require in between. Learning how to floss correctly is critical to your oral hygiene.
- Never snap or force the floss, as this may cut or bruise delicate gum tissues. Use fresh sections of floss as you clean from tooth to tooth. Do not use a dental floss more than once.
- If you floss before brushing, the fluoride in your toothpaste has better chances of reaching between teeth.
- Floss for about two to three minutes to significantly improve gum health. There are various types of dental flosses available today – waxed, unwaxed, flavored and unflavored. Choose one according to your preference.
- After you are done with flossing, follow up with brushing and rinsing with either water or antiseptic mouthwash. Try to floss before every brushing. If you do not have time for flossing in the morning, always floss in the evening before your final brush of the day.
- Don’t forget to floss behind your back teeth. Daily flossing is not a waste of time. It’s a proven way of maintaining oral health. Avoid using toothpicks to remove trapped food between your teeth, as this could cause your gums to bleed, leading to an infection.