Using Dental Floss to Avoid Tooth Decay

Using Dental Floss to Avoid Tooth Decay

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Along with brushing your teeth, ideally you’ll also be flossing on a daily basis.

Flossing removes plaque and debris in areas that your toothbrush isn’t able to reach. A build-up of plaque can lead to gum disease and tooth decay, which is why flossing is so important.

When you brush your teeth, you miss a lot of food particles and debris can build up in your mouth between your teeth. No toothbrush is designed to get to every area of your mouth, which is why floss was invented. With the areas missed by the toothbrush, the debris and plaque will continue to build up until they eventually result in a cavity or decay. To stop this debris and plaque building up into something more serious, you need to floss.

If you floss immediately before brushing, you’ll notice that your gums and teeth within a few short days will be much healthier looking. Healthy pink gums make your teeth look whiter too!

Flossing before you brush means that the gunk the floss removes from between your teeth gets properly cleaned away with your toothpaste and brushing. This leaves you with the best clean you can get other than going to your dentist.

Different Types of Floss

When you look at dental floss, you’ll notice there are two main types – nylon and single filament. You can get nylon either waxed or un-waxed and in different flavors.

Waxed floss helps slide in between the points where your teeth touch each other a lot easier than unwaxed floss.

However, when you use unwaxed floss pressed tightly against the tooth surface in a “C” shape, the fibers of the floss are able to spread out more, so that they rub along the surface of the tooth and therefore remove more plaque.

Using flavored floss help to disguise the revolting taste of the gunk that flossing removes from between your teeth.

Nylon floss is made up of several strands of nylon material, meaning that it can shred, tear, or snag between the teeth if it gets caught on sharp teeth or tartar or dental calculus buildups. This makes it a good indicator for when you need to see your dentist to get your teeth properly cleaned.

Single filament floss may be more expensive than nylon, however it is designed to slide more easily between teeth, even tight areas and spaces. Unlike nylon, single filament is impossible to shred or tear, so it’s much easier to use.

No matter which type of floss you choose, as long you floss regularly, it will remove debris from between your teeth and near your gums, and that’s a good thing.

Using Floss for the First Time

If you’ve never tried flossing before, you will probably be amazed at just how much debris and bits of food it removes.

Flossing is recommended by dentists everywhere because it has a significant impact on the health of your gums, teeth and mouth, which reduces the likelihood of gum disease and more importantly reduces the risks of decay leading to tooth loss.

The main difficulty people have with flossing is that it can result in bleeding of the gums, especially when the gums are unhealthy.

Anytime you floss and get between your teeth and around your gums, the floss will rub against your gums, so depending on how clean the area is, the health of your gums and the sensitivity of your mouth, bleeding can occur.

Some people take the bleeding to mean that there is a problem and immediately stop flossing. When in fact the opposite is true – keep flossing and the bleeding will stop as the health of your mouth improves.

If you don’t experience any improvement in health of your mouth or bleeding persists, visit your dentist for a checkup and to make sure that there isn’t a more serious dental condition that needs attention.

Your dentist or dental hygienist can give you advice on the right dental treatments and products for you to use at home, as well as teach you how to floss correctly.

Your smile will improve with the right regular maintenance at home; including flossing and brushing everyday.

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