If we strive to have better oral health, the knock on effect sees an improvement in our overall health and wellbeing. And one of the easiest ways to improve oral health is to floss on a daily basis.
Most of us brush our teeth twice a day, however, even then we tend to fall short of the recommended two minutes of brushing. But when it comes to flossing we don’t give it the attention it deserves.
Flossing is one the most effective way of removing plaque from our teeth other than having a thorough clean from our dentist. Plaque is the bacterial film that forms between teeth and along the gum line. Flossing daily helps prevent gum disease, tooth loss and leads to better oral health.
Flossing is what’s known as an interdental cleaner. This means floss is designed specifically to clean the tight spaces between the teeth and the places normal brushing can’t reach. It works most effectively when it’s done in conjunction with brushing and here’s why it’s important…
- It reduces the build of plaque which if left untreated can form tartar
- It helps keep your gums healthy and reduces the risk of gum disease
- It keeps your mouth healthy which in turn helps keep your whole body healthy
- It works better than brushing and using mouthwash at cleaning the hard to reach places
- It will save you money because a healthy mouth means less trips to the dentist
And here’s how you can do it…
- Cut off a section of floss about 45cm (18 inches) long. Wind it around the middle fingers of each hand.
- Grip the floss with your thumb and forefinger of each hand so that the floss between your hands is about 2.5-5cm (1-2 inches) long. Pull it tight so you can insert the floss in a gap between two teeth.
- Gently guide the floss up and down against the sides of the teeth and under the gumline. When the floss reaches the gumline, curve it into a C-shape against the tooth until you feel resistance.
- Hold the floss against the tooth and gently scrape the side over it, away from the gum. This will help you to floss under the gumline without causing any damage.
- Repeat this process for the next gap, along the side of the next tooth.
- Make sure you floss between every single tooth. Working to a pattern round the whole of your mouth makes it less likely that you’ll miss out any teeth.
- Remember to floss the side of the teeth at the back of your mouth.