Tooth decay is a problem many people suffer from. Although it is recommended that people brush their teeth twice a day, it is not enough to keep food particles and plaque from building up, which may eventually cause decay or gum disease.
That is why flossing should be done regularly alongside dental check-ups and eating the right foods, which contain less sugar.
When using a toothbrush, it is difficult for the bristles to reach the tight spaces or areas in between the teeth or under the gum line. With flossing, a person can easily get rid food debris and plaque, an invisible bacterial that develops on the teeth every day to cause gum diseases.
This is because if left untreated, gum disease can be a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes and obesity. In addition, bacteria can cause bad breath, or make the teeth look less clean or white. Therefore, flossing can improve the appearance of teeth, as well as a person’s overall dental hygiene.
Floss, which is commonly made out of plastic or nylon, is a thin thread that is placed between the teeth and pulled from both side in order to clean the gaps. In the process of pulling the thread, a person is able to remove food and debris.
How it works
So how should a person floss their teeth?
•Seek guidance from the doctor before flossing. The dentist will advise on the best floss to use and the technique involved in each case.
•Break off between 18 and 20 inches of the floss and wind it on the index or middle finger on both hands. This should be followed by tightly holding the floss between the thumbs and the fore fingers.
•A person can guide the floss in between teeth through a rubbing motion, which ensures that the floss does not go beyond the gum line.
•Try as much as possible to be gentle and always curve the floss on one tooth at a time. Using a lot of force may damage the gum and teeth.
•Flossing should be done once a day for best results.
•Always keep the floss that you are not using covered. This will help to keep it free from bacteria. Do not re-use the floss. Always burn or throw away what has been used.
The writer is a dentist