Today we are going to talk about dental floss! We will cover the most commonly asked questions about dental floss, as well as how to use dental floss correctly.
Why is it important to use dental floss?
When you brush your teeth you are cleaning the surfaces of your teeth. However, you are not able to get into the spaces between your teeth. Plaque, which is the soft coating of bacteria that builds up on your teeth during the day, will also be in these spaces between your teeth. If plaque is left on your teeth for several days, this will harden into tartar (also called calculus). Once you have calculus more bacteria is likely to settle and this leads to tooth decay. Using dental floss helps remove the plaque, therefore preventing formation of calculus, which decreases risk of tooth decay.
How often do I need to use dental floss?
It is recommended that you use dental floss at least once every day. This is to prevent build up of bacteria and eventually tooth decay. A good time to floss is after you have brushed your teeth. Most people prefer to use dental floss before bed as they are less rushed and therefore able to ensure it is carried out properly.
Your 6 steps to flossing your teeth correctly.
First cut a piece of dental floss. A good size is about 30cm.
Wrap the ends of the dental floss around your middle finger and grab hold of the dental floss with your thumb and index finger. Holding it in this way helps you to gain control of the dental floss when moving it between your teeth. If you don’t like to wrap the dental floss around your middle finger, you can also tie the ends together to make a circle and then grab the floss with your index finger and thumb.
You should run your dental floss down along the side of the tooth and continue 2mm into the gums, creating a ‘C’ shape. This prevent bacteria building up at the edge of your gums. This is often what causes bleeding for people who do not floss their teeth regularly.
Now run your dental floss into the same space, but run it down alongside the neighbouring tooth. Once again create the ‘C’ shape.
Important to remember is to continue to floss alongside the same tooth until it feels easy for the dental floss to pass through.
Run your dental floss between all your teeth systematically so you ensure you don’t miss any out.
And there you have it! Follow these 6 simple steps every time you floss and keep your teeth in tip top shape!
Do you floss enough? Did you learn anything that you didn't know before?