Good oral hygiene is an important component of a person’s overall health. In addition to brushing teeth twice a day, using mouthwash regularly, and getting regular checkups with your dentist, flossing will help keep teeth clean and healthy.
Flossing removes plaque and food particles from areas where a toothbrush can’t easily reach, including under the gum line and between teeth. Because a buildup of plaque can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss, daily flossing is strongly recommended.
Dental floss is made from either nylon (multifilament) or PTFE (monofilament). Nylon floss may be waxed or unwaxed, and is available in a variety of flavors. It can shred when used between closely connected teeth since it’s made from many strands of nylon.
The single filament (PTFE) floss is more expensive, but slides more easily between teeth and is much more difficult to shred. Both types are great at removing plaque and debris from teeth.
It’s important to floss teeth in a particular manner in order for it to be effective. Begin with a piece of floss about 18-20 inches long. Wind each end around your index or middle fingers, whichever is most comfortable. Leave a couple inches of floss in the middle between fingers to work with.
Gently slide the floss in between teeth and move it up and down against the side of each tooth. Curve the floss around the base of each tooth, and make sure to go under the gum line.
Don’t use strong force with the floss; protect your gum tissue by working the floss gently. As you move from tooth to tooth, switch to other sections of the floss or wipe off the debris that you remove.
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