Flossing is often forgotten about or only used when removing large pieces of food from between the teeth. However, flossing is one of the four essential daily habits required to maintain good oral health. Flossing along with brushing, rinsing with a mouthwash and chewing sugar free gum between meals all are required to keep your teeth and gums in top shape.
Why Is Flossing Essential?
Brushing your teeth and flossing work hand in hand. They’re both used to remove plaque off the surface of your teeth. Brushing obviously removes it in those visible places but flossing is used to get the plaque off between your teeth. This is important because excessive plaque can lead to periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease. Symptoms of gum disease are small areas of the gum that are red, swollen or bleed easily. If left untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss.
How to Floss Correctly?
It doesn’t matter which type of floss you use, they’re both effective. There is one made of nylon and the other of filament. The nylon type can be unwaxed or waxed with a choice of flavours such as mint which can be an advantage to some, especially children. The filament type doesn’t split like the nylon type but tends to be a bit more expensive.
The best way to floss is to take a piece of floss about 18” long and wrap it around your two index fingers leaving a piece 2” long that’s not wound up. Slide that piece between your teeth using a backward and forward motion. Curve the floss around your teeth in a “C” shape to scrape off the plaque. Move it up and down the tooth reaching up into the gum line.
Be careful not to force the floss between your tooth as when it eventually passes it can bruise or cut your gum. Instead only use the sliding method to get the floss between your teeth. Once you’ve finished one tooth, adjust the floss so that you have a new clean piece that you can use on the next tooth.
Ideally you should do this once a day, preferably at the end of the day, to get rid of any food particles that may have built up during the day.
Is It Better To Brush First or Floss First?
To be honest, it doesn’t really matter. Each action has its own part to play in the removal of plaque and neither will bring an advantage over the other. What’s more important is that you both brush and floss in the correct way. Make sure that you brush for at least 2 minutes giving equal coverage to each tooth and floss in between the teeth and up into the gum line and you should be on your way to good oral health.
It’s also important to visit the dentist every 6 months. They will be able to remove any plaque build ups that you were unable to reach or missed during your regular cleaning.
What If I have Neglected My Teeth Beyond Repair?
If you have lost any teeth due to gum disease then the surgeons at California Oral and Facial Surgery can help replace them. Operating from Alameda, CA, the expert surgeons offer dental implants to their patients. They are excellent replacements to missing teeth as they look and feel like natural teeth as well as maintaining natural function. Book now to make an appointment and see whether dental implants are for you.