Flossing – Commonly Asked Questions
Many people tend to view flossing as an accessory oral hygiene habit that does not exactly need to be done. Wrong idea. Most of us were not trained to floss when we were children because most of our attention was on learning and maintaining the habit of brushing our teeth. Yet surprisingly, flossing can be as equally important as brushing because there are some things it can do that brushing alone cannot. For example, taking out food particles trapped in between the teeth.
If you do not floss, then probably now is a good time for you to start cultivating that habit. After all,you do not want rotten food particles to be stuck in between your teeth and cause bad breath. Before you start, read through our answers to some commonly asked questions about flossing. This will give you an overview on the right way to floss.
What is dental floss made of?
Dental floss is made of either thin nylon filaments or plastic ribbons. It comes in a bundle usually 10 to 50 meters long.
What are the benefits of flossing?
The main benefit of flossing is the removal of stuck food particles. This prevents bacteria from amassing around those particles and feeding on them. Furthermore, with the absence of food particles and thus bacteria build up, you have lesser chance of developing bad breath.
How often should I floss?
You should floss daily at least once, especially following a meal. If you have gaps in your teeth and tend to pocket food, then it is advisable that you floss more often. Moreover, designate a time of the day when you can conveniently floss. You can choose to either floss in the morning or before bedtime. Whatever your chosen time is, what is important is that you develop flossing into a daily habit.
How long should I floss?
There is no specified length of time for flossing. Floss until you feel you have taken out all food particles from between your teeth. There is no need to rush either as flossing hurriedly can cause injury to your gums.
How much floss should I use?
Use as much floss as needed. Also, use only clean floss for each side of the tooth. Do not reuse the floss as this can simply carry the bacteria from one tooth to another.
What type of floss should I use?
There are many types of floss in the market and you may want to try them all before deciding to permanently use a certain kind. As a guide though, waxed floss is used by people with crowded or tightly spaced teeth. On the other hand, if you have rough tooth edges then a shred-resistant floss is best for you.