How to Use Dental Floss: A Comprehensive Guide
How to use dental floss? Dental flossing is an essential part of a complete oral hygiene routine. While brushing your teeth is crucial for removing plaque and food debris from the surfaces of your teeth, it can’t reach the tight spaces between them. This is where dental floss comes in.
Benefits of Flossing:
- Plaque and Food Debris Removal: Flossing effectively removes plaque and food debris from between your teeth, areas that your toothbrush can’t reach. This helps prevent the buildup of tartar, which can lead to gum disease and other dental problems.
- Gum Health: Flossing stimulates blood circulation in your gums, which helps keep them healthy and strong. It can also help reduce inflammation and prevent gum disease.
- Fresh Breath: Food particles stuck between your teeth can cause bad breath. Flossing removes these particles, leaving your breath fresh and clean.
- Overall Oral Health: Regular flossing is essential for maintaining good oral health. It can help prevent cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems.
Types of Dental Floss:
There are many different types of dental floss available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most popular types:
- Unwaxed floss: This is the most basic type of floss. It is thin and slippery, making it easy to slide between teeth. However, it can be difficult to grip and shred easily.
- Waxed floss: This type of floss is coated with a thin layer of wax, making it easier to slide between teeth and less likely to shred. However, some people find it too slippery and difficult to control.
- Floss tape: This is a wider type of floss that is made from a thin, flat ribbon. It is easier to grip and control than traditional floss, making it a good option for people with dexterity issues.
- Water floss: This type of flossing device uses a stream of water to clean between your teeth. It is a good option for people with sensitive gums or who are unable to floss with traditional methods.
How to Floss:
Here are the steps on how to floss properly:
- Break off a piece of floss about 18 inches long.
- Wrap the ends of the floss around your middle fingers.
- Hold the floss taut between your thumbs and forefingers.
- Guide the floss gently between your teeth using a zig-zag motion.
- Curve the floss around each tooth in a C-shape.
- Slide the floss up and down along the surface of each tooth, including under the gumline.
- Repeat steps 4-6 for each tooth.
- Rinse your mouth with water.
Tips for Flossing:
- Floss at least once a day, preferably before bed.
- Be gentle when flossing. Don’t force the floss between your teeth, as this can irritate your gums.
- If you have tight spaces between your teeth, use a floss threader or a water floss.
- Flossing should not cause pain. If you experience pain, stop flossing and consult your dentist.
- Children should start flossing as soon as they have two teeth that touch.
- American Dental Association: https://www.ada.org/en/resources/research/science-and-research-institute/oral-health-topics/floss
- National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/flossing-info-for-caregivers_1.pdf
Flossing is an important part of a healthy oral hygiene routine. By following the tips in this article, you can learn how to floss properly and effectively. With regular flossing, you can help prevent cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems.