"Brushing your teeth cleans 60% of your teeth's surface - leaving 40% for plaque to build up on"
Flossing your teeth removes the plaque between your teeth and under gums in small gaps where your brush cannot reach. It only takes a couple on minutes a day and can make a massive difference to your dental health.
Flossing should be an essential part of your dental care routine - not an optional extra.
Why should I Floss?
Flossing removes plaque between the teeth
Removal of plaque prevents gum disease (bleeding gums)
Removal of plaque also prevents tooth decay
Removal of plaque also prevents Halitosis (Bad Breath)
Flossing should only take 1-2 minutes each night to complete and there are many advantages to doing it regularly. When you first begin to floss it can cause a small amount of bleeding on the gums this is normal for people who have not flossed for a while. When you floss regularly you will find that your gums will not bleed as often.
How do I floss?
Take approx 45cm of floss and wind both ends around your middle fingers and then hold the floss between your thumb and index finger.
Guide the floss between your teeth in a gentle sawing motion being careful not to be too rough on your gums.
The floss should be taken down the edge of one tooth and along the gum and back up the adjoining tooth in a U shape.
If you have any further questions or would like a demonstration Dr Steven is happy to show you at your next check-up.
If you find it difficult to get your fingers in your mouth to floss there are some aids that can be used to make it easier:
Floss picks have floss already loaded in them and make it easier to reach between the difficult to reach teeth up the back of your mouth, they are designed to be single use.
Floss Holders are larger than Floss picks and you load your floss into them and wrap it around each end, these are a better option for people wanting a more environmentally friendly option as you only discard the floss each day.
Interdental brushes are used on gaps between the teeth that are a little larger and come in different sizes depending on the gaps between your teeth. Dr Steven is happy to recommend the size that is best for you to us
Water Picks can be used to remove food particles stuck between your teeth but generally do not remove plaque, only manually scraping the teeth with floss or an interdental brush will do this.
"Even children should be flossing as soon as they get 2 teeth in contact with each other"
If there is one habit that you start today, make it FLOSSING! Not only does it keep you teeth clean and healthy, more research is coming out all the time showing a link between a healthy mouth and a healthy heart.
If you have any further questions regarding FLOSSING or your dental health please contact me today.