How to floss properly
Most people are aware of dental advice regarding brushing their teeth, mouthwash and so forth. Many people also chew sugar free gum between snacks and meals in order to freshen their breath and reduce plaque. However people often neglect flossing as a way of removing those awkward bits that get between the teeth and can cause long term damage. Knowing how to floss properly can allow you to get rid of those awkward bits and maintain a brighter looking, more confident smile!
Why is flossing beneficial?
Flossing is beneficial for the following reasons-
• It can reach below the gumline and between teeth, something that regular brushing may not be able to clean (or at least it is often more difficult, even with electric toothbrushes).
• It reduces the plaque that in the long term can result in tooth decay and gum disease
• It helps remove unsightly bits from between your teeth, not a good look if you’re trying to get a big job or you are going to the parent’s meeting!
What is the difference between the different types of floss?
There are two main types of floss- Nylon (also known as multifilament) and PTFE( monofilament floss). Nylon floss comes in waxed and unwaxed varieties and is made of numerous strands of nylon material. By contrast PTFE is made of a single strand.
The major difference is that because nylon is made of multiple strands there is more of a risk of it breaking up. While PTFE is more expensive than nylon it is less likely to break while using it. With both varieties if you use them properly you ought to be able to floss without the strands breaking.
How can I floss more effectively?
You need to use around 18 inches of floss to use it properly. Wind it around your middle finger, allowing for a little extra floss to work with. You then hold it tightly between your index fingers and thumbs, taking care to slide it slowly and carefully between the teeth.
Remember that you do not need to force the floss in order to get the best results. Gentle up and down motions will remove bits while at the same time reducing the risk of damage to teeth and gums.
Also why it may sound obvious make sure that you use clean bits of floss as you go along the teeth. As ever with oral care you need to take your time and try not to rush it. While you may read this and think “Well that’s easy enough” try to remember that when you’re getting ready in the morning!
As with a lot of oral health techniques knowing how to floss properly is a matter of having the right equipment and knowing how to use it safely. There are various videos and guides online that can help this but don’t be afraid to talk to your dentist if you want more advice on effective flossing.