Dental experts’ advice – How to use dental floss?
Before knowing how to use dental floss, it is important to know- what dental floss is as well as why dentist recommends using dental floss regularly.
What is dental floss?
Dental floss is an instrument used to remove food particles, debris or dental plaques between teeth and gums. Through regular and proper use of dental floss, you can prevent a number of oral diseases.
Why do dentists recommend using dental floss regularly?
If debris or plaque remains in the teeth for a long time, it transforms into tartar, can lead to:
- Gum infection
- Swelling in the gum
- Bleeding in the gum
- Teeth separation from the gum
- Teeth loss
Toothbrush bristles cannot reach every corner of the teeth or gums to clean debris and plaques. That is why dentists recommend using dental floss regularly in addition to tooth brushing to fight debris or plaque in order to prevent oral diseases.
Most popular dental floss types:
- String floss: A specialized thin filament used for removing dental plaques.
- Floss picks: Having a toothpick like shape at one end and a strong floss holder at the other.
- Water flosser: A water-based flosser that uses a water force to remove dental plaque.
- Air flosser: An air flosser creates a combined rapid force of compressed air and water droplets to remove dental plaque.
Regular flossing will help keep the teeth free from debris and plaques, which will not let bacteria form between teeth and gums. There are a number of oral benefits one can get through daily flossing. Few of the most important benefits are:
- Prevents tooth decay/cavity
- Prevents gingivitis and mouth ulcers
- Fights bad breath
- Whitens the teeth
- Keeps the gum healthy
- Improves oral health
- Supports overall health
How to Floss:
#1 How to floss with a String Floss?
Hold the flossing string correctly:
- Tear-off about 18 inches of flossing string from the container
- Roll around the middle finger of each hand, leaving about 5 inches string between the hands
- Pinch the floss between your thumbs and index figures and leave about 1 inch in between
Slide between teeth in a side to side motion:
- Gently push the flossing string down between the teeth using a side to side motion
Slide in a C shape angle:
- Pull the floss tightly in a c shape around the side of the tooth
- Slide it in under the gum line
- Clean the tooth using an up and down motion, not side to side, until it is clean
Take a fresh section for moving to new tooth:
- When one tooth is clean, pull the floss out and go to the next tooth and repeat the process
- Before moving to a new tooth, unroll a fresh section of the string from one finger and roll the used string onto other
#2 How to floss with floss picks?
- Place the floss pick between the teeth and push downwards
- Move the floss up and down in between the teeth as well as slide it gently under the gum lines
- Repeat 2 to 3 times for effective cleaning
- The opposite end can be used as a toothpick to remove food particles from the teeth
#3 How to floss with a Water Floss?
- Once the battery is charged, fill water in the flosser reservoir and adjust pressure
- Once the flosser is ready, place the flosser nozzle in your mouth
- Turn the flosser on and point the nozzle to the teeth and gums
- Close lips to avoid splashes
- Start from back teeth and give pause between teeth
- Aim the flosser nozzle at about 90-degree angle above the gumline
- Once you finish flossing, turn the machine off
#4 How to floss with an Air Floss?
- After charging the flosser, fill the small reservoir of the flosser machine with water
- Point the air flosser nozzle between your teeth
- Start air flossing by pressing the start button
- Turn the machine off once you are done
Floss your teeth at least once daily, which can be done at any time in a day. I prefer to do it at night before going to bed. If you have an infected gum, it may bleed while flossing. It can happen during the initial few days of flossing, which is quite normal. After regular flossing for a week or so, the bleeding should disappear. If bleeding does not disappear within two weeks or you face a heavy bleeding from your teeth/gums while flossing, consult a dentist immediately.