Importance of Flossing

Basic Oral Care

Have you been to the dentist lately? One of the questions they are going to ask is whether you floss regularly or not. A rising concern among dentists is that more and more people seem to lose interest in flossing regularly. The importance of flossing is such that a professor of periodontology at the University of Florida College of Dentistry in Gainsville, Samuel B. Low, states, “If you were stuck on a desert island and a boat could bring only one thing, you’d want it to bring floss”. The sad part though is that only 49% of the Americans floss daily and 10% of them never floss all their lives.

Let’s take a look at all the reasons people give themselves, and their dentists about why they don’t floss and why flossing is so important.

Food Does Not Get Stuck in My Mouth

That’s like saying your teeth are made of cement where the food can’t get through! Whether you realize it or not, food does get into the fine spaces between your teeth. What’s more, flossing isn’t done to remove food so much as it is for the removal of tooth plaque.

My Hand-Eye Coordination is Not Good Enough

That might be true, but it should not be the reason why you don’t floss at all. There are many flossing devices available that can help you out of this difficulty. Whatever the limitations, whether of huge hands or amputations, these flossing devices can work wonderfully for you.

I have Close Spaced Teeth and It Hurts When I Try

Not a good enough reason not to floss. All you have to do is try using either waxed floss, or floss that is fine, thin and very slippery polytetrafluoroethylene. If you can’t find the right one, ask your dentist and they can suggest where you can find the floss.

When you try flossing with fine, waxed floss and it still hurts then there are chances you have gum disease or gingivitis. Did you know that flossing is the only cure for this problem? Try brushing and flossing daily for a week and see the results. If the pain and bleeding persists, see your dentist.

Floss? How?

Many people are not even sure how flossing is done. It’s true that the first few times you won’t really do it the right way, but with time you will get the hang of it. Here are some easy ways you can floss the right way as suggested by the American Dental Association:

• 18 inches floss is the best. Wrap more than half the floss on one middle finger and the rest of it on the other middle finger.

• Hold it tight between forefinger and thumb and put it between your teeth.

• When you near the gum line, hold the floss in a C shape and continue down the contours of your teeth.

• Keeping the floss firm, move it up and down the teeth gently.

• Continue with the rest of the teeth.

It will seem a little difficult at the start, but with practice you will get better and used to the task. Remember, your dental health is very important!


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