While brushing through dental terminology and oral hygiene, we often come across questions like how frequently could we brush our teeth, how exactly are we benefitted through it or how could flossing be done correctly without troubling our teeth?
On deep diving through this blog, you would possibly have an appropriate answer to all your queries.
Here’s what exactly flossing means.
Flossing dislodges interproximal dental plaque that is mainly the bacteria that gets collected in between our teeth in the form of a sticky film resulting in cavities and poor oral health. It not only prevents the risk of tooth decay and gum diseases but it also helps in the removal of debris and food particles that settle in our mouth as the bristles of our toothbrush aren’t 100% effective in reaching the inner ends of our teeth, which in turn can be carried out through flossing. 60% of the world’s population do not floss their teeth, aren’t aware of its techniques, and that it plays a vital role in keeping a beautiful smile intact.
Inter-dental cleaning is important and contributes to overall health, so it is necessary to know the right pattern and ways to correct flossing without causing any unwanted damage or gum bleeding.
Below are the steps that need to be followed:
- Grip around 18 inches of the floss tightly between your fingers in a circular motion and gently slide it in between your teeth keeping in mind that it doesn’t reach deep into your gums. It will help to keep the floss in the right place and remove unwanted dirt.
- Curve the floss into a ‘C’ shape as soon as it reaches the gum line and slowly rub it against the space between two of your teeth.
- Floss all the corners, back ends and edges of your tooth upwards and downwards making sure that no food particles, dirt or leftovers remain.
- Repeat this step for the rest of the teeth so that all the bacteria gets eliminated and on completion, dispose the used floss maintaining dental hygiene.
FLOSSING TOO MUCH?
It wouldn’t be very fruitful to vigorously dig deep inside your gums or apply too much pressure on your teeth. This would do nothing but cause damage to your pearly whites, so being careful and gentle would be the best course of action.
WHO SAID BRACES ARE A CONCERN?
For those wearing braces, it gets a little tricky and time-consuming but using waxed floss makes it easier as it doesn’t get stuck to your braces and 10-15 minutes is a sufficient amount of time you could devote here. Moreover, schedule teeth cleaning from a dental specialist at an interval of 3 months to prevent its staining and maintain white shiny teeth instead of using chemical-based whitening toothpaste. When looking for faster-desired results, electric toothbrushes are a great alternative for manual toothbrushes.
TOOLS ONE CAN USE FOR INTER-DENTAL CLEANING:
There are various tools that can be used for flossing your teeth depending on the space between your teeth, whether it is wide or narrow but it is chiefly recommended to those having a tight inter-dental spacing.
- Dental Floss that could be either waxed or un-waxed, preferably waxed as it doesn’t stick to your tooth or braces.
- Wooden/Plastic picks
- Dental Tape is a flat, ribbon-like structure which is used for cleaning in between the larger gaps of your teeth. As it is broad, it easily glides between your teeth without causing any harm to the gums considering its sensitivity.
- Flossing Threads are affordable and easily available at a nearby chemist shop or you could consult any orthodontist for the same in order to save time and effort.
- Pre-threaded Flossers being thin and coiled help to brush of bacteria at its earliest.
- Flossers that are air-powered.
- Water-Pik also known as Water Flosser, Water Jet or Oral Irrigator is a water-based tool that helps in eliminating plague in between the layers of your teeth along the gum line outpouring a watercourse.
- Super flosses are more efficient than the regular ones as it removes even the minute particles of bacteria from braces, bridges and gaps extending to the inner ends of your gum line.
- Standard Flosses consisting of nylon thread that could be waxed, un-waxed, flavoured and unflavoured depending on the requirement.
- Proxy Brushes or thin, tiny brushes used for cleaning.
It is necessary to keep your mouth as clean as possible and meticulously eliminate the unwanted residue that sticks to your teeth and using the above-mentioned tools would ease your work according to your suitability.
THE RIGHT TIME TO FLOSS?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), it is imperative to maintain dental hygiene which could be taken in action if you brush your teeth twice and floss once on a daily basis. It is recommended to floss first and then brush for a perpetually clean mouth so that no food particles persist until the next time you brush your teeth. Increased fluoride concentration when brushing second not only strengthens your enamel (the outermost hard layer of your teeth), but also loosens the bacteria reducing the likelihood of tooth decay.
WHAT’S MORE? KNOWING WHY TO FLOSS?
Well, you need not be informed about the importance of healthy teeth and oral hygiene but having a clear perception of the harmful effects of the settled plague on your teeth would get you all keen in avoiding all complications.
As you know that the bristles of our toothbrush helps in the cleansing of the surface of the teeth and do not reach the inner ends or back of our teeth due to which it is not possible to remove all the dental plague and residue, it thereby settles and gets accumulated in the proximal areas of our teeth leading to microbes which hamper our oral health and hygiene.
Untreated plaque hardens into calculus also known as tartar which is mainly the hard deposits formed when bacteria starts to feed on your teeth releasing an acid leading to gum inflammation (gingivitis), cavities, tooth decay, and periodontitis. The sugar and food residue entrapped in between our teeth results in dental concerns as it acts as a storehouse for bacteria to grow.
The first signs of any gum infection include swollen gums, tooth pain, red-bleeding gums, loosened teeth, visible cavity, and sensitivity on consuming anything hot or cold, prevailing bad breath, and tender gums. This is a consequence of poor oral hygiene and neglecting regular cleaning schedules.
As a result, the tissues beneath our teeth, gums, ligaments, and bones consisting of the entire tooth structure show an overall decline leading to major medical concerns like hampering our heart health and targeting the bloodstream causing premature delivery of your child.
In order to sustain your bright smile, you need to indulge yourself in dental hygiene habits such as flossing, brushing, and proper rinsing. No matter how time-consuming flossing could seem, it plays a vital role in keeping healthy teeth intact way more than that any other alternative.
TIPS AND TRICKS TO GOOD ORAL HEALTH:
- Regular flossing following its techniques and never use toothpick for cleaning keeping in mind the sensitivity of your teeth and gums.
- Deep cleaning and brushing your teeth twice everyday in order to get rid of unwanted germs.
- Visiting a tooth specialist (dentist) for dental x-rays at regular intervals for a quick analysis of your dental hygiene and health.
- Do not rinse your mouth right after brushing as it would get rid of the fluoride in your toothpaste acting as a shield in protecting your teeth. It is always beneficial to wait for a few hours before doing the same or drinking water.
- Use a fluoride based toothpaste and an active germ killing mouthwash with added salt, neem, herbal additives or charcoal that would help eliminate bad breath and leave you with an everlasting fresh mouth.
- Gargle once a day with lukewarm water and add salt to it. Along with that, indulge into a habit of not only brushing your teeth but also your tongue. This helps strengthen your teeth and soothe the tissues beneath the gum line.
- Make sure you are using sealed, unexpired and certified dental products recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA).
By following the above stated methods, you can easily prevent any infection or damage to your teeth.
Some individuals would prefer flossing during the day and brushing during their bed time and vice versa, it is always about what suits your routine and helps to manoeuvre good oral health. A bright and confident smile is always alluring and achievable if you, as an individual opt for it.
Taking small steps and focusing on the key aspects of brushing, flossing and rinsing would contributing to oral hygiene and reduce the risk of facing dental problems in near future. If we maintain proper dental care habits at all appropriate times, it would do wonders for each one of us and contribute to our overall health.