Dental flossing can be beneficial to most with it helping both teeth and gum health. In this article we will cover where to start, the dos, don’ts and benefits of flossing.
The act of flossing
Dental flossing is a well-known way for people to clean their teeth and it is commonly recommended that from the age of 12, people use this as a way of removing plaque and reducing the risk of gum disease.
Dental flossing is the act of using a soft thin thread with a combined action of gentle scraping of the tooth in a vertical motion. Sometimes, if the standard dental floss is too thin, it is also recommended to use dental tape which is slightly thicker.
Not only is this simple action used to prevent plaque, along with reducing the risk of gum disease, but it’s also to reduce the risk of cavities and bad breath.
How to use dental floss
The NHS website features some useful tips in regards to dental flossing to ensure it’s used properly and as efficiently as possible.
- When dental flossing, use about 45cm of floss. Wrap the floss around a finger on each hand, ensuring you’ve got good tension.
- Hold the dental floss tightly between your fingers leaving about 2.5cm which will be used.
- Gently rock the floss between your teeth ensuring you’re careful of your gums.
- Once the floss reaches the bottom of your tooth, curve it into a C against the tooth you’re looking to clean.
- Carefully scrape the side of the tooth with the dental floss, moving away from the gum. Repeat the previous steps for the other tooth within the same gap.
- Generally, it’s best practice to start from one side of your mouth to the other ensuring you don’t miss any gaps or teeth along the way.
If you’re new to dental flossing, you might notice your gums could start to bleed. There’s nothing to worry about if this starts to happen. This is primarily due to your gums being tender. Carry on flossing your teeth as instructed by your dentist and in time, the bleeding should start to slow and stop.
Top 5 benefits of flossing
Oral hygiene is important in the prevention of gum disease. Taking care of your teeth and gums not only reduces unwanted issues but also ensures your teeth and gums stay healthier for longer.
- Gum disease prevention
This benefit is one of the main reasons we recommend using dental floss. Prevention of gum disease is best to start as early as possible to reduce any risk there may be of gum disease.
- Reduces risk of cavities
Tooth decay can result in cavities which are small openings or holes in the hard outer surface of the tooth. Dental flossing can be a leading way of preventing possible cavities.
- Reduces bad breath
Bad breath is something that many may have to deal with so ensuring you’re cleaning between your teeth can be a large improvement to not only tooth health but overall breath/month scent. We also recommend using mouthwash in these cases.
- Removes plaque
Clearing and preventing plaque both improve tooth and gum health. Plaque is a colourless film that coats your teeth and typically builds up around your teeth and gum line. Plaque forms on and around your teeth when bacteria in your mouth mix with starchy or sugary foods and drinks. The bacteria release acids that break down carbohydrates. Not using dental floss and brushing often is the main cause for plaque to build up and harden.
- Reduces risk of heart disease
Gum disease can lead to possible heart disease. So prevention of this is a must.
A study carried out in 2014 concluded that people who had received adequate care for their gum disease had cardiovascular care costs that were 10 to 40 percent lower than people who didn’t get proper oral care. By no means is this guaranteed chance but it does show that oral care for initial reasons which may seem small can lead to possible larger issues in the long run.
Do you have dental problems you’d like resolved?
Dental issues can’t go unnoticed in most cases. If you do need some assistance inside or outside of normal visiting hours, do feel free to get in touch with your nearest 24/7 Dentist location. We have practices across the UK ensuring all are able to receive the help they require.