Nearly everyone cleans their teeth and knows the benefit of doing this. When it comes to flossing, this is not done or understood so much, so in this article we’ll take an in-depth look at flossing and how this can benefit you.
The whole process behind flossing is to do with the gaps in your teeth. When you brush your teeth, they get cleaned but often the space in-between gaps get naturally missed. Like if you didn’t clean your teeth, this allows for bacteria and plaque to build eventually causing teeth problems.
Many people can have relatively large gaps between their teeth where inter-dental brushes may be more appropriate to use for an all-round clean. For those areas with smaller gaps then flossing is definitely the preferred technique.
Dental floss is a very thin piece of material (similar to string.) As it can be a little fickle some people find this hard to use, so a thicker version of this called dental tape may be easier for some people. The main action of using dental floss or tape involves gently passing the ‘string’ through the gaps in the teeth in a minor but gentle scraping action.
What is the best way to floss?
Pull off a small section and grab the floss piece between your fingers and thumbs. Gently pass the floss through all gaps in your teeth, remembering to do the more difficult areas and places which are hard to reach. Flossing is quite a delicate task and remember not to go too heavy handed or harsh when carrying this out. You may notice your gums bleed when you initially start carrying out flossing. As long as you are gentle this shouldn’t harm your gums and the bleeding should ease with time. If you notice persistent problems then please visit your dentist and make them aware of this. It may be that your technique is slightly incorrect, so your dental team will be happy to show you the best way.
Dentists agree that flossing is good for your teeth and if more people did it then there would be a dramatic improvement in oral health generally. The main benefits of flossing include:
• An improvement in how white the teeth look overall by reducing the amount of plaque and any excess food which is left over from eating.
• Flossing can help control bad breath making your mouth feel much fresher.
• Taking together the above, if your teeth look whiter and your breath smells fresher this will improve your confidence and self-esteem.
• There is an improvement in gum health as plaque near the gumline which can lead to gingivitis is removed thus eradicating the problem.
• Some studies have shown that regular flossing can mean it is less likely you will lose teeth or require dentures as you get older.
If you don’t floss currently, don’t delay in adding this to your normal cleaning routine. Think of all the benefits you can be adding to your health and lifestyle.
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