Dental flossing removes food and plaque missed by regular brushing and is an important part of oral hygiene. Occasionally, food particles get caught between teeth and cannot be removed just by brushing.
Dental flossing removes food and plaque missed by regular brushing and is an important part of oral hygiene. Occasionally, food particles get caught between teeth and cannot be removed just by brushing. Particles and plaque that don’t get removed can cause cavities and other problems with your oral health.
Dental flossing has a host of benefits, some of which include:
- Eliminating bad breath-causing bacteria. Bad breath is a common issue, but flossing is a great way to combat and prevent it. It removes plaque and buildup that cause cavities and contribute to bad breath.
- Reducing the risk of cavities. Developing cavities takes time. So, the prolonged buildup of plaque can result in cavities that expose sensitive nerves in the teeth and cause damage. Flossing your teeth will help eliminate elusive food particles and prevent plaque buildup, decreasing the risk of tooth decay.
- Removing plaque from the gum line. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that accumulates around and between teeth, eroding their enamel. However, the amount of bacteria present depends on what you eat — specifically, sugars and junk food. Plaque occurs naturally, but if allowed to accumulate, it can lead to oral health problems later on. These problems include cavities, periodontitis and gum disease. Dental flossing removes the buildup of plaque between and around teeth, lowering the risk of these problems.
- Helps to prevent gingivitis. When you don’t floss, you allow bacteria to grow around the gum line, which can cause diseased pockets in your gums. These diseased pockets may lead to a form of gum disease called gingivitis, which can develop into a serious problem called periodontitis. Flossing removes most plaque buildup and decreases your chances of experiencing gum disease and cavities. If you think you’re developing gingivitis or another oral health issue, book a check-up at your local dental clinic.
How to Floss Properly
It is important to floss correctly, as improper flossing can damage your teeth and gums. Begin with some string floss, then follow the steps below.
- Remove a long strand of floss and wrap it around both index fingers, leaving one to two inches of floss between them.
- Hold the floss taut with your thumbs and gently slide it up and down between your teeth, rubbing it against the sides of each tooth. Do it gently, so you don’t scratch or bruise your gums.
- Repeat each step until you’ve cleaned every tooth.
- Rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash.
How Often Should You Floss?
Brushing and flossing are key to good oral hygiene. To prevent plaque and tartar buildup, it’s important to floss at least twice a day. You should aim to floss as often as your brush your teeth, but it may not always be possible. So, it’s good practice to carry a small packet of dental floss with you and floss after each meal. Flossing helps with many dental problems, so do it as often as you need. If your gums hurt or bleed when you floss, schedule an appointment with your dental clinic to check for gingivitis.
Types of Flossing Tools
As with brushing, you have a few different choices of flossing tools. They include:
This is the most common flossing tool. Traditional floss comes in the form of multifilament woven or monofilament string, waxed or unwaxed. You can measure how much you need and wrap it around your fingers to slide it easily between your teeth.
This disposable, easy-to-use option has a plastic handle with dental string affixed to it. On one end is dental floss and on the other is a sharp pointed tip that can be used as a toothpick. Dental picks are a good option for busy people who want a quick floss or toothpick with simple disposal.
Water flossers use pressurized water to remove plaque and food particles stuck between and around teeth. It shoots water in a streamlined jet to remove particles.
Alternative electric flossers
Like water flossers, electric flossers create pressure with a mix of jet air and water vapor for the same plaque-removing effects — but using less liquid. Electric flossers are more compact than water flossers.
These small brushes get into those hard-to-reach places that a regular toothbrush has trouble accessing. They have small, bristled heads and can be found in different widths to comfortably fit the gaps between your teeth.
Your Dental Clinic in Slidell
Whichever flossing option you choose, a good flossing routine can help maintain your beautiful smile and oral health. The next step in your oral care is regular visits to a professional dental clinic.
The dedicated professionals at Fremaux Dental Care are here to help you. Call us at (985) 445-9656 or fill out our online contact form to request an appointment.