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Why Is Flossing Important For Your Teeth?

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If we list down a healthy routine for an individual, it would be along the lines of, “Waking up early in the morning,  exercising, brushing your teeth, eating healthy for breakfast….” and people have believed in this ideology for having a healthy lifestyle. However, even after following the bullet points, most people aren’t able to achieve the best of their health while some have attained the “nirvana” of health. 

So what are these “some” people doing differently? The secret is to read between the lines. This “worldwide, vague” checklist of health are only titles,  there is always more to be done under them. Most people miss out on the detailed version of it.

The same applies when it comes to oral health care. Even though the rule is “brush your teeth twice a day”, it won’t make your teeth extra healthy. These are the baseline requirements for healthy teeth and gums but to make them healthier,  we need to do more. We need to put in extra effort and extra care. That is why you must, “Floss your teeth” too.

 

flossing

Flossing? What is That?

Flossing is the activity of cleaning the spaces between the teeth and gums with a thread-like material created for the purpose which helps in removing food and plaque in between teeth. It is an additional tooth-cleaning aid. 

 

What is Floss?

Floss is a cord made of filaments that are used to clean the spaces between the teeth to prevent cavities and gum problems. It looks like a sewing thread but is slightly thicker.

 

Isn’t Brushing Enough? Why Floss?

A toothbrush is effective in cleaning most of the surfaces of the teeth. However, there are surfaces where the toothbrush cannot reach such as in between the teeth, the area where gums and teeth surfaces meet. Plaque or food particles can remain in these spaces and cause cavities and gum problems. So, even after brushing, these places can be missed by the toothbrush and that is where floss can help.

 

Are There Different Types of Floss?flossing benefits

Yes, flosses are of different types.

1. Based on Filaments (threads):

a) Monofilament floss – is like a single string.

b) Multifilament floss – threads are weaved together.

2. Based on Coating: 

a) Waxed – Waxed flosses have a coating of wax that protects the floss from breaking easily. They are more expensive than their non-waxed counterparts.

b) Non-waxed – These are the traditional flosses that do not have a coating of wax.

 

Selecting the Right Kind of Floss 

The type of floss to use depends on the amount of space present between the teeth, the roughness of the tooth surfaces, and the gums covering the space between two teeth. If the spaces between the teeth are very tight or the teeth surfaces are not smooth, Waxed or Monofilament flosses are advised. If there is some space, then traditional non-waxed floss can be used.

 

What is the Proper Method of Flossing?

  • Take 18 inches of floss and wrap the ends on each of the middle fingers of both hands and wind most of the floss leaving around 10 cm in between. 
  • Hold the remaining part firmly between the thumb and index finger of both hands.
  • In a back-and-forth motion and upward direction, try to pass the floss between the two teeth. 
  • Once the floss reaches the area where the gums and teeth meet, curve the floss along the curve of the gums. 
  • Slowly remove the floss in the same way it was inserted.
  • Repeat this between all spaces.
  • Discard the used floss.

flossing benefits

 

How Often Should You Floss?

Flossing can be done before or after brushing your teeth once a day. 

 

Does Flossing Hurt?

No, if done properly,  flossing should not hurt at all. While inserting the floss, the to and fro motion should be used and floss should not be snapped towards or away from the gums. Moreover, while curving along the gums, you must be gentle, or else you might cut and damage the gums.

 

What are the Benefits of Flossing?

  • Flossing acts like additional care for the teeth.
  • It prevents cavities and gum diseases.
  • On a day when you are too tired to brush, floss alone can save the day. 
  • Flosses are not quite expensive and can be carried anywhere.
  • Flosses can also be used to remove lodged food after eating, in place of toothpicks, or any other unhygienic method.

 

So, hidden problems are sometimes the reason for chaos even after good maintenance. Hence, it is wise to remove the problem in between. Floss it out!

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