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Is Flossing Important?

dental flossing

Flossing is Important

What is the most tedious and boring thing in the world?
While there are many such things, I am sure flossing is among the top 3!
So its important for you to know why you should floss and how to floss correctly. 

Why should you Floss?

Toothbrushing and mouthwash cannot clean the parts of the teeth touching each other. Only floss is efficient in removing plaque and debris that accumulates between the teeth and underneath portions of the gum pocket. This should be an essential part of your daily oral cleaning process. When plaque (a sticky bacterial substance that accumulates on curved tooth surfaces and crevices) is removed, dental diseases can be prevented, along with gum problem and bad breath (which require both brushing and flossing to prevent). If one fails to keep up their oral hygiene, tooth decay and gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis, respectively) will affect your oral health.

How to Floss?

Proper flossing technique is also critical.

Begin by taking a piece of floss (around 12-18 inches) and wrapping it around your two index fingers tightly, with plenty of slack on each side. Move the piece of floss between each tooth, wrapping the floss around the curved sides of each tooth in a C-shape, sliding up and down several times beneath the surface of the gum.

Between each teeth site will be two curved sides for flossing except for the far back molars. Be sure to move the floss down as far as possible, beneath the gum line, as this loosens and breaks up food build up and initial bacteria build up.

If you have dental bridges or braces, the flossing technique will need to be slightly altered. A dental threader will be needed to carry the floss passing under the jointed teeth contact area, and then the individual can pump up and down in typicalflossing strokes.

If you notice some bleeding, it is a sign of  inflammation of the gum tissue – this usually signals the early stages of gingivitis. Keep up your proper home care routine and the condition will improve.

If the condition of bleeding upon brushing and flossing lasts more than two weeks, get some help from your dental professional.

 Type of Floss

There are several different types of floss (including waxed, unwaxed, and tape floss) – normally, easy gliding thin floss will be a good choice for average dental conditions. Gapped teeth or in areas under a dental bridge should require tape floss. Remember, you can get advice from your dental professional to find out which is the best choice for you.

Remember to brush and floss twice daily! These important habits and routines will help you enjoy your teeth for a lifetime!

 Dr Madan’s final comment: only floss the teeth you want to keep!
See the page: toothbrushing/flossing for videos on toothbrushing and flossing.

 © Dr Madan 2011    All rights reserved. Copying in part or whole in any form is prohibited.
You may write to drmadan@enjoyteeth.com  if you want to print this article on your site/blog/ magazine for free.

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