Dental Flossing and Benefits

Dental flossing is used to clean the space between the teeth where brush cannot remove plaque. Flossing should be done regularly to prevent tooth decay and periodontal diseases.

Types of floss:

  • Nylon floss: Floss is made of multi strands of nylon. These are available in waxed or unwaxed nylon floss. These are expensive. They may tear if placed between teeth which have no space.
  • PTEF Floss: PFEF means poly tetra fluoro ethylene. These are made up of single stranded PTEF. They can effectively remove plaque if there is less space between the teeth.

Based on coating on floss:

  • Waxed floss: The floss is coated with the wax. These can easily slide between the teeth.
  • Mint floss: These floss are coated with mint flavor. These give fresh breath
  • Fluoride floss: Floss are coated with fluoride to prevent tooth decay. But it is not recommended as it is not much effective.

Based on the shape of floss:

  • Flattened floss: These are flat and can increase the contact of floss between teeth.
  • Ultra floss: These are spongy like appearance and are soft. These are used to protect gums from damage during floss
  • Rounded floss: These are very thin compared to all types of floss. They can be used to floss between tightly attached teeth.

Benefits of flossing:

  • Flossing along with brushing improves oral hygiene compared to brushing alone.
  • Flossing removes food debris clogged between the teeth where brushing can not remove.
  • Flossing prevents gum diseases and dental decay problems.
  • Flossing saves money as it removes plaques so tartar build up is not possible. Once tartar build up on teeth can be removed by dentist only.
  • Flossing removes plaques between teeth and improves smile.

How to floss teeth properly?
Take a piece of floss and wind around each of middle fingers. Hold the floss between the thumb and index finger. Then place the floss between the teeth and slide the floss between the gum and teeth and flossing with up and down motion and repeat the same for back side of teeth.

How often should I floss my teeth?

  • Flossing should be done daily once to remove debris between teeth in adults and old people.
  • In children it is recommended to floss regularly
  • It is suggested to do floss before you go to bed.
  • If you wear braces, floss daily to remove debris as most of the food gets clogged between the braces. Use waxed floss for candidates with braces.

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