You must have often heard how brushing and flossing your teeth are the two best and the easiest ways for maintaining good oral hygiene. Well, that is unquestionably true. But, are you aware of how often you should floss your teeth? What is the correct technique? What are the precautions you should take?
Flossing may seem like a cumbersome and annoying task, but you do not have to neglect it; instead, you should ask your dentist about the correct ways to do it. To get the best results, the process must also be appropriately followed. Here are a few tips that will help you know more about flossing your teeth!
Why is cleaning in between the teeth essential?
Even if you brush your teeth twice per day, you may still develop bad breath or tooth decay at some point. This happens because brushing only cleans your teeth’s outer surfaces, superficially. There are food particles stuck in between the teeth, which are beyond the reach of a toothbrush. To remove these food particles, cleaning in between the teeth becomes absolutely essential. The most suitable cleaning material is a string of dental floss. Flossing also helps in removing plaque buildup and thus prevents dental decay and periodontal disease. It promotes good dental hygiene, and therefore, you should incorporate flossing in your daily oral hygiene regimen. Sometimes, you may use any handy object to clean in between, such as fingernails or cutlery, but these will only make matters worse because by doing so, you are just introducing more germs into your mouth. You can also injure the soft tissues in your mouth. So, the proper material and technique of flossing are a must know.
How frequently should you floss?
It is recommended that you should floss once per day or at least every alternate day to clean the debris from every corner of your mouth. Flossing is not recommended every time you brush your teeth. Choose a time of the day, either morning or the night, when you can give your teeth extra time for flossing. However, flossing at night proves more effective in cleaning the debris collected during the entire day. You can also involve and teach your children how to floss, as it is necessary for them as well. Don’t run to floss every time you eat a meal. There is an increased risk of injury to the soft tissues in your mouth with excessive flossing. Also, it would be best if you were extremely gentle while flossing because any fault technique or rough handling can cause injury. It is not supposed to be painful, so if you are experiencing pain or bleeding, it is a red flag that you are using a faulty technique.
What is the ideal material for floss?
With the advancement in science, there are a lot of varieties for flossing material as well. Earlier, when the concept of flossing came into being, horsehair was being used as a floss. Today there are not just different materials but even flavoured, and unflavoured foss is available.
The most commonly used floss is the synthetic floss made of Nylon. One filament consists of many twisted strands to make it more durable. It is safe and readily available, making it the ideal material for dental floss. Teflon floss is also used, but it is a bit more expensive compared to the highly affordable nylon floss.
Natural floss is also available, which is made of silk thread coated with beeswax. It is a safe and biodegradable alternative to the nylon floss.
If you do not wish to use the traditional floss, there are numerous other options as well, such as dental tapes, water flossers, pre-threaded flossers, electric flossers, or tiny flossing proxy brushes.
What is the correct flossing technique?
There are five simple steps to be followed in the same pattern:
STEP 1: Take a nylon floss and break approximately a good 18-23 inches of it. Wrap the maximum part of it around the middle finger of your one hand and remaining on the middle finger of the other hand.
STEP 2: Hold it firmly between your forefinger and the thumb. Make sure the firm and the floss is taut. A flax floss will not be able to do the cleaning properly, and you will keep struggling with it.
STEP 3: Move the floss in between your teeth with gentle pressure in a rubbing motion. Don’t rub with a jerky movement, be smooth, and make sure not to snap it at the gums.
STEP 4: When the floss reaches the gums, fold it against one tooth in the form of a C shape and move it beneath the gums. This is a crucial part and should be done with patience and gentleness. There is the most significant risk of injury to the gums if the technique is not proper at this time.
STEP 5: Then hold the floss on the side of the tooth and move it up and down to clean the lateral surface properly.
After completing all these steps, discard the floss, and rinse your mouth with water or a good mouth wash. Brush your teeth, if you haven’t already done that.
Should you brush your teeth after or before flossing?
It does not have any significant effect if you brush first or floss first. Some suggest that you should floss first because flossing makes the bacteria loosened from the spaces between your teeth. If you brush after flossing, it will aid the process of removal of bacteria. Use a good toothbrush and a good flossing technique. The aim is to clean your mouth, and until that is fulfilled, you are good to go.
Good oral health requires extra time and effort. You should be able to make time out of your busy routine and give your teeth that extra care. In any case, we as dentists in High Wycombe, are always available to cater to your needs and help you when you can’t handle your teeth properly. At Conway House, we can guide you and teach you the correct ways to floss and also help in removing the plaque and tartar by our advanced professional dental cleaning. Call us on 1494526578 if you need any further assistance.