Your brushing and flossing using dental floss are the foundation of good oral hygiene and good overall health. Remember also to visit your dentist for a professional cleaning twice per year. Some tough plaque and buildup can only be removed by your dentist at the clinic. Plus, proactive oral care would go a long way toward your overall health. And seeing your dentist is equally important as seeing your doctor.
The starting point of all gum disease is the gum line and between teeth. Daily flossing should be an essential part of your oral health care routine. This would help you to remove the plaque from these areas where your toothbrush does not entirely reach. But to truly reap the benefits, you need to know and use the proper flossing technique.
Proper Flossing Technique Using Dental Floss
If you are flossing every day, it is a good habit. But for dental floss to effectively remove plaque and food particles from your teeth, you need to be sure you are using the correct technique.
Because you will use your hands, be sure to wash your hands before you reach for the floss. The American Dental Hygienists’ Association explains the elements of proper flossing technique in four simple steps:
You need to wind one end of the 18 inches of floss around the middle finger of one hand. On the other end, you need to wind onto the middle or index finger of the other hand. In between the two fingers, there should be enough length of floss available. This is done to ensure that you have enough to keep a clean segment free so that you can move the floss from tooth to tooth. You need to leave one- to two-inch length in between. Use both your thumbs to direct the floss between your upper teeth.
Keep a one to two-inch length of floss taut between your fingers. Use your index fingers to guide the dental floss between your lower teeth.
Once your floss is in position, gently guide the floss between the teeth by using a zig-zag motion. Be extra careful not to let the floss snap between your teeth. Try to contour the floss around the side of your healthy teeth, making a C shape with the floss while wrapping it around your tooth.
The next important step is to slide the floss up and down against your tooth surface and under the gum line. Do not forget to floss the backside of each tooth. As you move from one tooth to the next, keep unrolling a fresh section of floss from the finger of one hand. At the same time, roll the used floss onto the finger of your other hand. Meaning as you keep flossing, you use the unused section of your floss thread. Use your thumb as a guide.
The Technique in Easy Steps
This technique of using dental floss applies to any floss: spongy, waxed, unwaxed floss, or dental tape. As long as you adhere to the correct technique, there is no problem with the type of floss you use. It is a matter of personal preference. These flossing teeth steps are easy to follow and practice. There are many types of floss to choose from. Your choice of variety should meet your needs and those of your family members.
It really does not matter whether you start with your upper or lower teeth or whether you start from the back or from the front. Just make sure that you floss one tooth at a time completely. Including the backside of your very last tooth on all the four ends of your mouth. And do not forget to floss under the gum line.
Even if you have any dental crown, dentures, or dental implants, you need to floss property. As food particles might get trapped in these spaces. If you use the correct technique, it will help you remove the excess food particles and plaque-building microorganisms between your teeth. Thus helping to improve your oral health.
If you pair flossing with twice-daily brushing, that too, an electric toothbrush will help to remove food particles and plaque from your gum line and in-between your teeth. The rounded brush head and micro-vibrating bristles will surround each tooth and clean it more thoroughly.
Dental Floss for Effective Plaque Removal
After you eat or drink, tiny pieces of food particles are left everywhere in your mouth on your teeth. Even though your saliva does a good job of continuously rinsing a lot of food debris away, some food leftovers stay stuck on your gums and teeth. These particles must be brushed and flossed to get rid of them. Your mouth has millions of natural bacteria that help to break down food buildup. But over time, if they are not cleaned thoroughly, these bacteria leave behind a sticky film called plaque that needs to be removed.
Everyone, including your young kids, should brush for two minutes, twice a day, and floss once a day to remove these harmful bacteria. You especially need to remove food build up and plaque from the places that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. If you do not stay on top of it, these food build-ups can quickly turn into bigger problems that cause gum disease, tooth decay, and inflammation.
When should you floss? You should know the right time to floss as it contributes to good oral health. Some people practice a routine of brushing their teeth first and then flossing. However, you would have noticed that your doctor recommends flossing first and then brushing your teeth.
Flossing is very helpful in lifting lift and releasing food and plaque stuck in between your teeth. Whereas brushing removes these food particles from your mouth. If you do the reverse, meaning brush first and floss afterward, food particles remain in your mouth until the next time you brush. The American Dental Association recommends that you floss at least once per day and brushing teeth twice per day.
Types of Dental Floss
Choosing a product as basic as dental floss can seem overwhelming. But you cannot go wrong with a choice of floss as you need to use it every day.
Each type of floss has its own pros and cons. Here are a few points to note about your flossing options:
Waxed floss is a standard nylon floss that is commonly available. It comes with a light wax coating. This kind of floss is less likely to break, but the wax-coated floss might make it harder to use in tight spots.
Unwaxed floss is a very thin nylon floss made of about 35 strands that are twisted together. It can easily fit into tight spaces, specifically if your teeth are very close to each other. But on the other hand, it can be prone to shedding or breaking.
Dental tape is much broader and flatter than standard floss. These come in both waxed or unwaxed versions. If you have more space between your teeth, you will find dental tape more comfortable to use than standard floss.
Polytetrafluorethylene floss (PTFE) is the same material commonly used in the high-tech Gore-Tex fabric. The material slides between your teeth easily and is less likely to shred.
Super flosses are made from yarn-like material that has stiffer sections on both ends. They are easy to use to clean around braces or dental bridges.
Dental Floss Different Devices
1 Using an Electric Flosser
If you have a hard time manipulating a standard floss, electric flosses could be a good option. Most electric flossers come with ergonomic handles, and some even have angled heads to make the floss reach the back of your teeth.
The same basic flossing techniques remain the same if you choose to use an electric flosser. Guide and glide the floss gently into place. Then gently move the flosser back and forth to create a zig-zag motion. Do you have trouble reaching the backsides of your teeth? Some flossers come with angled handles that can make it easier to reach those tricky spots.
2 Using a Hand-held Flosser
In case you are using a hand-held flosser, the flossing technique is similar. Hold your flosser handle firmly and place the flossing tip at an angle on the teeth where you want to floss. Guide the dental floss gently between your two teeth, and be sure to avoid popping or snapping the floss. Use the same zig-zag motion that you would use with standard floss. Bend and maneuver the floss around each tooth and clean all the sides of your teeth, including the gum line and along each tooth surface.
3 Flossing Around Dental Work
If you wear dental appliances, especially braces, proper flossing technique is all the more important to avoid getting floss caught on the wires or brackets. You can use special orthodontic floss in such cases as they have a stiff end that can easily be threaded under the main wire on your braces. Or you can purchase a floss threader. Floss threaders work with any floss thread and can be reused. It is a flexible device with a pick on one end and a loop on the other. Once you have placed the floss thread, follow the same principles of proper flossing technique.
You need to be extra cautious as poor flossing techniques can result in complications. Moreover, it is important to be thorough yet gentle, especially when you are using an electric flosser. It is a good option if you have dental work or have difficulty flossing by hand. Be sure you understand how to use it. You can always ask your dentist to show you if you are uncertain.
If you are looking for a dentist in Dubai, Dentist Ahmed Clinic could be a good choice as they are always welcoming new patients. Visit them for all of your dental health needs.