In as much as dentists and oral hygiene institutions encourage flossing, there are still many people out there who do not understand why they should floss and how to do it correctly. So we are going to explore flossing a little bit, starting with understanding what floss is and why you should use it.
Dental floss is a thin and flexible filament that is used to get rid of food particles that get stuck in between teeth. You may already be saying “what about my toothbrush and toothpaste?” well the thing is there are places in between your teeth that your brush will not be able to reach. The food particles will also prevent the toothpaste from reaching some parts of the teeth and gum. So flossing becomes the most effective.
So we have talked quite a bit about flossing, but we have not discussed why flossing is essential. You see when the food particles in between teeth are not removed; they form what are called dental plaques. These plaques tend to promote microbial growth which will lead to the development of diseases such as gingivitis and halitosis.
There are different types of dental floss that can be used to clean teeth and get rid of that debris. The two commonly used are waxed floss and unwaxed floss. The waxed dental floss is a filament or string that is coated with wax to help it slide easily in between teeth and is gentle on the gums. This is probably the strongest floss as compared to the other types, but the wax coating on the filament can make it difficult to penetrate in between teeth that are closely packed together. Also because of the wax coating, this type of dental floss is the most expensive. Some waxed types come coated with toothpaste like compounds like sodium fluoride and antibacterial agents to help take care of the small microbes that remain in between teeth after brushing.
Unwaxed dental floss is, well without wax! It is made up of very thin nylon material that makes it easier to use between closely packed teeth. Because it’s so thin and is not coated, the unwaxed floss will break easily.
Other types of floss include Polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon) floss which is very friendly on sensitive gums and dental tape which is probably the largest in width and as such is common among people with wide spaces between their teeth.
When choosing floss, it’s important to take into consideration the following factors:
- The space in between your teeth
- The sensitiveness of your gums
- Your antibacterial agent needs
What many people do not know is that when flossing you need to wash your hands. This is important because you will be inserting your hands into your mouth during the flossing process, so it’s best not to introduce any more gems inside your mouth.
When you have your hands all washed up and clean, take out a good length of dental floss, 20 to 30 cm will be enough. Roll the floss on each of your index fingers leaving few centimeters of floss in between them.
Gently guide the floss inside the gap between teeth, when it reaches the button and nears the gum, curve the floss into a C and pull to and fro. Now move the floss upwards and downwards till you reach the top and remove it, then move on to the next pair of teeth. Do this until all teeth have been cleaned top and bottom.
As you switch teeth, you should also move the floss between your fingers to get to a fresh section.
This might seem like a strenuous piece of work, but it is very important if you want to maintain excellent dental hygiene. Most people usually floss at night before going to bed that way they have all the time to do it properly.
Our innovative travel toothbrush however can reduce all this work and make flossing convenient. The Brushee comes with toothpaste and dental floss all incorporated in the toothbrush, so you have everything in one place. More so, Brushee is small and portable making it easy to slip into your bag and be available for some quick flossing after lunch or snacks. This is particularly useful for people who travel a lot and want to maintain good oral hygiene on-the-go.