Flossing is an integral part of your routine dental hygiene care. It should be done twice a day after brushing. Flossing removes plaque, dirt, and food particles between the teeth and under the gumline which cannot be reached by brushing alone. These areas are vulnerable to decay, so they must be cleaned properly with the right tool— your trusty dental floss.
With flossing, you can effectively achieve a whole mouth clean and prevent dental diseases such as tooth decay and gingivitis.
In today’s modern world, flossing is made creative and uniquely personalized for every patient. Now there is a type of floss depending on your dental needs. Below we’ve listed some common dental concerns and the best type of floss to use for optimal dental care.
Traditional Flossing Options
The most common way to floss is through the use of a dental thread. This may be waxed or unwaxed depending on your selection. But, both work the same way.
Start by tearing off a piece of thread approximately 18 inches in or one forearm’s length. Wrap both ends around your middle finger, leaving a couple of inches in the middle free. Then, using your index fingers and thumbs, slide the floss up and down each tooth.
The proper way to floss is by curving the thread around the base of each tooth in a C-manner and sliding it against the side as you pull it back up.
Specialized Flosses for Specific Needs
Flossing is now made easy and effective with options targeted to address plaque control for patients with specific dental challenges and oral health needs.
For crowded teeth
The problem with crowded teeth is tight contacts, making it difficult to slide the dental floss in and out. They may also rip or shred as you try to floss. To solve this, a dental floss that is thinner, has a smoother texture, and made with more durable material must be used. This will prevent the threads from ripping apart during flossing.
For deep pockets
Deep pockets are prone to cause gum and periodontal disease because plaque and bacteria can easily accumulate in these areas. So, flossing with the right tool is a crucial task. You may consider using an expanding floss to ensure optimal cleaning.
An expanding floss is a thin, multi-filament strand that shrinks when pulled taut and expands when pushed together. This helps insertion in tight teeth contacts while still providing a thick thread for better plaque removal in deep pockets.
For teeth gaps
Another excellent use for expanding floss is if you have gaps between the teeth. You can also consider a braided or tufted floss. These are specialized flossing tools that have slightly wider-than-average strands to help with gliding across the sides of your gapped teeth.
For braces and bridge
Dental braces and bridges prevent regular flossing because it is impossible to slide the floss between and through your teeth. Braces have a wire across the teeth while a bridge is connected to adjacent teeth.
For successful flossing, you may use an interdental floss or Superfloss. These flossing options are designed to help ease the threader between the teeth without passing through the wire or bridge.
For teeth whitening
If you are undergoing whitening treatment, a whitening floss can help further lighten stains and maintain the brightness of your smile. Whitening flosses have a whitening or bleaching ingredient incorporated into the grooves of each floss string. This helps prevent stain build-up and evens out the colour of your teeth.
For allergies and sensitivities
Most dental flosses are made with nylon and wax coatings. For some, this may trigger allergic reactions. So, a vegan or organic option is a better choice for their flossing needs. For an all-natural floss, look for those with ingredients such as natural silk and plain or natural flavours.
For the eco-conscious
Aside from dental concerns, flossing is also made to cater to zero-waste advocates with 100% biodegradable or compostable threads that come in recyclable packaging. This is a great alternative that focuses not just on oral health but also on the environment.
Innovations in Floss Technology
If you are not a fan of the traditional thread for flossing, there are also options for you:
Water flossing is another way to clean the in-betweens of your teeth. It involves the use of a handheld device that releases steady water streams. The water pressure helps remove plaque, dirt, and food particles stuck between your teeth.
This is a good substitute for those who do not like or have difficulty using strings for flossing. Water flossing may also be recommended for those with braces and bridges to eliminate the difficulty of cleaning with their existing dental work.
Another option you can consider is silicone flosses. These are branded as string-free flosses that are reusable, budget-friendly, gentle, and shred-resistant. This is designed to eliminate the struggles of traditional flossing while still effectively fighting cavities and gum disease.
Understanding the Link Between Flossing and Overall Health
Flossing should be incorporated into your dental routine because it, not only maintains and improves your oral hygiene, but also greatly impacts your overall health.
Flossing is directly related to gum and periodontal disease, which in turn is linked to systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancers, and respiratory tract infection, among many others.
This is because bacteria that have not been removed from flossing may cause periodontal infection. When this bacteria goes through the blood vessels, it can travel to the heart and other organs, causing harm to your overall health.
So, keep in mind that whenever you floss, you do your smile and entire body a favour.
Flossing Options – Conclusion
With many options available for flossing depending on your specific oral health needs and lifestyle, it should no longer be an excuse not to do it. Flossing is an easy task once you get around to doing it. It is a simple way to prevent several dental diseases and the health consequences and expenses you may incur.