Cleaning the spaces between your teeth and along your gums with dental floss is as important to your oral health as cleaning your teeth with a toothbrush.
Just like you brush your teeth every day, flossing should be part of your daily routine.
Benefits of flossing
There are many benefits to regularly flossing your teeth. Dental floss can help clear food debris and plaque from the spaces between your teeth, where your toothbrush cannot reach. As a result, flossing helps prevent gum or periodontal diseases, tooth decay, and bad breath.
There are certain things to keep in mind to get the most out of flossing:
Use dental floss or an interdental cleaner every day.
Floss at least once a day.
Be gentle when using dental floss so you avoid damaging gum tissue.
If long threads of regular dental floss are too hard for you to hold, use a floss holder.
A variety of dental cleaning products
Drugstores offer a great variety of dental cleaning tools. These include:
Waxed dental floss
Unwaxed dental floss
Interdental cleaning aids, including picks and special sticks
Oral irrigators, which use water to remove plaque caught between teeth
Both waxed and unwaxed dental floss work well to clean the spaces between your teeth.
If the spaces are tight, waxed floss may glide more easily between them.
The bottom line is that flossing every day is more important to your oral health than which floss you choose.
You must follow instructions or ask your dentist how to use flossing tools properly so you do not hurt your gums.
Oral irrigators can remove food caught between your teeth, too; but they should not replace dental floss and tooth brushing.
Likewise, most mouthwashes will not do an effective job of keeping your mouth healthy on their own.
Many are used simply to cover up breath odour, although some over-the-counter fluoride mouth rinses can help prevent decay, and some anti-gingivitis or anti-plaque mouth rinses can help fight periodontal diseases.