A guide to flossing your teeth
Flossing can significantly help remove plaque and food from places a toothbrush cannot easily access, especially between teeth. This is important, as untouched plaque will harden over time and turn into tartar or calculus.
Failing to remove plaque generally leads to gum disease and tooth decay, which can be very painful not to mention expensive to fix in the long run. Here are a few things you should know about flossing.
Floss is usually made of Nylon or plastic. There is a wide range of dental floss available, including waxed and unwaxed floss. You can choose between mono-filaments and multi-filaments as well.
While coated mono-filament slides more easily between teeth, it tends to be pricier. The most important feature of dental floss is thickness. There is no better or worse option in that respect, as it’s down to individual suitability and the space between a person’s teeth. The best way to figure this out is to try different types.
Get a firm grip
While a large majority of dentists recommend regular flossing, patients tend to be reluctant to use it, fearing they’re too clumsy or hiding behind the excuse of not needing it. However, there are some easy tips to follow to facilitate flossing.
For instance, sliding gently between your teeth helps prevent damaging and cutting gum tissue. It’s also recommended to hold the floss with your thumb and index fingers and pull tight, which gives you a firm grip for more accuracy and efficiency. You should scrape the tooth over the side, away from the gum. Repeat the move for each tooth.
Using clean sections of floss as you move along is healthier: you should take 18 inches of floss for a full clean. Some people prefer to use a flosser to facilitate things. Alternatively, dental tape is thicker and widely considered to be simpler to use. Some even use dental picks as an alternative.
At Sensu, we advise our patients to floss daily. Ultimately, while you might feel some discomfort at the start and perhaps experience minor gum bleeding, it should ease within a week or two and make a real difference.