Flossing! How should I do it?

Flossing is a key step to removing wastes from the parts of the teeth that the brush cannot reach. Now brushing regularly is a daily exercise, and not many doubts arise in regards to how should you brush. However, with flossing, a range of questions and doubts arise. How should I floss it? How often should I do it? Should I floss first before I brush or vice-versa? Here we would like to answer these questions so that flossing becomes an effective measure to maintain your dental health.

It doesn’t quite matter which one you do first- it is your wish. When you brush, you should use a comfortable brush that fits your hand and also is easy on your teeth. The strokes need to be short and you need to reach out to the outer and inner tooth surfaces, chewing surfaces and the insides of the front teeth. Brushing like this can remove almost all harmful substances but this is not enough for preventing plaques. There will still be bits of food stuck between teeth that your brush cannot reach. Plaque usually turns into a harder substance called tartar which would assimilates along the gum lining. It would then lead on to a severe gum disease. Hence flossing regularly before/after brushing is the most effective way to prevent plaques. There are also interdental cleaners for people who find it difficult to handle a floss. You should take medical advice on how to use interdental cleaners to prevent gum injury.

Since it doesn’t matter when you floss, you should assign it a time on your daily routine. Flossing takes a bit of time and if you just do it casually, it is not helpful. Just like you brush twice in a day, make sure to floss once every day.

The two usual flosses are nylon and Polytetrafluorethylene floss (PTFE). Nylon floss is cheaper than PTFE but is more vulnerable to damage. PTFE is the same material used in high-tech Gore-Tex fabric. The material slides between the teeth easily and is less likely to shred compared to standard floss making it a long lasting floss and it is also tear-resistant.

Apart from the usual flosses available, there are other options like a dental pick, brushes and a wooden plaque remover. Water flosses are also readily available and can be an alternative if you find it difficult to floss. Also when you have braces, water flosses will come in handy. Taking medical advice from your dentist is also a must when it comes to using the most effective kind of floss suitable for your teeth.

Cleaning teeth should be a comfortable experience. There should not be any rough strokes on the teeth as it can cause tissue rupture. Flossing might seem a bit uncomfortable at first but if you use the floss softly and effectively, you will get acquainted with it and this will not a problem anymore. A myth is that if you brush/floss vigorously, your teeth will be spick and span. The correct way of doing it is using small and soft strokes and taking your time while brushing and flossing.

Wind about 18 inches of floss around the middle finger and create room for an inch of floss to use. Slide the floss in between the teeth. Hold the floss tightly held between the thumb and the index finger. Do not go in straight lines when you floss and curve it as much as possible to reach beyond the gum line. Go gently to avoid any tissue damage. Keep varying the length of the floss available for use when you go from tooth to tooth, and use a clean section every time. Remove the floss using the same technique as while sliding.


Now that all your doubts are cleared, start flossing today!

Bello Dental

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