The Importance of Flossing – Daily!
It’s a terrible feeling when you realize you have forgot to brush your teeth. If you’ve been in bed and it dawns on you that you have skipped brushing, you usually jump up and go get it done! But would you do that for flossing? Many do not realize that flossing is just as important as brushing and the two should go together.
The tooth has five surfaces—buccal, occlusal, lingual, mesial, and distal. The brush can reach only three surfaces but not the other two (mesial and distal). These two surfaces will be in close contact with the respective sides of other teeth and so food debris is easily stuck there. Along with this food debris, water and other components, and the bacteria present inside the mouth build up plaque (sticky, film-like substance) around the teeth, both above and below the gums. If this is not removed properly, the hardening of plaque—tartar, is formed.In return, with less plaque caught between your teeth, the fluoride in toothpaste can get to more parts of your mouth. Win win!
Choosing the Right Dental Floss
Yes, that is a thing! Once you decide you are going to add flossing to your daily oral routine, the type of floss you buy will be dependant on your teeths spacing or if you have braces or bridges. You want it to do its job!
Most floss is made of either nylon or Teflon, and both are equally effective. People with larger spaces between their teeth or with gum recession (loss of gum tissue, which exposes the roots of the teeth) tend to get better results with a flat, wide dental tape. If your teeth are close together, try thin floss that bills itself as shred resistant. Bridges and braces call for a defter touch to get underneath the restorations or wires and between the teeth. Use a floss threader, which looks like a plastic sewing needle. Or look for a product called Super Floss that has one stiff end to fish the floss through the teeth followed by a spongy segment and regular floss for cleaning.
Floss – The Proper Way!
Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Never snap the floss into the gums.
When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.
Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget the back side of your last tooth.
Once you’re finished, throw the floss away. A used piece of floss won’t be as effective and could leave bacteria behind in your mouth.
The Canadian Dental Association’s website calls brushing and flossing the two most important ways to care for your teeth. “If you don’t floss, you are missing more than one-third of your tooth surface. Plaque is the main cause of gum disease. It is an invisible bacterial film that develops on your teeth every day.” Dr. Charchuk and his team at Chinook Mall Family Dental Clinic could not agree more. When you come into see us at our CF Chinook Centre office as part of your cleaning, we will show you the proper way to floss your teeth.