The Importance of Flossing

Regular flossing is a very important oral hygiene practice that should not be disregarded. There are a few people who question the importance of flossing but professionals and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services all agree that daily flossing is essential to a healthy smile.

Why is flossing so important?

Regular brushing is not enough to keep food and bacteria away from your mouth. Plaque is formed when there are leftover pieces of food between your teeth. Dirty plaque that sticks on teeth contains harmful acids and bacteria that destroy the enamel of your teeth. Cavities can also form as acids eat away your teeth. When they are not removed, plaque turns into tartar – a rougher substance that forms along the gum line. When tartar or calculus is neglected, it can eventually lead to gum disease.

What to Use?

When you have established the importance of flossing, your next step is to choose from the various cleaning options available. The most commonly used inter-dental cleaner is the rolled type which comes in different forms – unwaxed, waxed, flavored, etc. These things also come in different sizes to cater to all kinds of users. Additionally, there are also options like dental picks, pre-threaded flossers and even wooden plaque removers. For those who wear braces or bridges, water flossers may be the better option.

If you are still having trouble choosing the best kind of flosser, visit your dentist for some enlightenment. Your dentist will provide you with the necessary information to help you make the best decision. Aside from helping you with your selection, you can also ask for an actual demonstration using your preferred floss. These professionals will be more than willing to educate you with proper information on how to clean your teeth.

When to Floss?

There’s a debate on when is the best time to floss – is it before or after brushing teeth? The truth is, it doesn’t really matter when you do it as long as it is done properly and regularly.

Experts advise to pick a part of the day when you have a couple of minutes to spare. Since flossing can take up some time, especially if you’ve just had a large meal, it may require a little effort from you. So, it is important to choose a timeframe when you are relaxed. Some people may prefer flossing at the middle part of the day, when they still have enough energy. Others want to do it in the night-time, so they can go to bed with clean teeth. This really depends on your preference, schedule and lifestyle.

How to Floss?

While flossing may seem like such a straightforward act, there is a proper way to do this. If you do it improperly or rush through the process, you may still be leaving out bits and pieces of food in your teeth.

Remember that flossing should not be painful but there could be some discomfort and even some bleeding at first. Flossing too aggressively can actually damage the tissues on your gums. It is important to take your time and be careful when cleaning in-between gum lines. Once you get used to regular flossing, this activity will become more natural and less uncomfortable. Adding this small detail to your dental hygiene will greatly improve the overall health of your smile.

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