How Often Should You Use Dental Floss? Does Flossing Help?

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How often should you use dental floss? Does flossing help?Dental hygienists often suggest brushing and flossing need to go hand in hand. But, one might wonder, what is the need for using a thread to clean the space between teeth even after brushing and rinsing with mouthwash?

Why do we floss? What’s the need for the same?

Toothbrush fails to reach the spaces between two teeth. The plaque gets accumulated in such areas and turns harder by each passing day. If left ignored, gum disease might develop on the affected tooth. Regular flossing helps in getting rid of the plaque and keeping such spaces between the denticle clean.

Simply put, the brush cannot get in spaces between teeth flossing is the only option to remove food particles trapped in such an area.

Benefits of flossing your teeth

American periodontists, dental hygienists, and dentists recommend flossing as researchers have already proved its importance in preventing gum diseases. Individuals who brush and floss regularly are lesser prone to suffer gingivitis, bleeding gums.

Unfortunately, half of the American population suffers from periodontal disease.  Plaque (sticky white layer) happens to be one of the reasons that trigger periodontal and other gum diseases which are linked to diabetes, arthritis, and heart diseases.  All this can be avoided by merely flossing daily to remove the debris.

How often should you floss teeth?

Particles from dry fruits and raisins seem harmless, but their small particles can stick in the space between teeth and cause decay due to the high sugar content. Thus, flossing after every round of snacks can be a good idea. Studies have pointed out that individuals indulged in flossing after a quick meal tend to feel less tempted to go for mid-afternoon munchies.

Flossing after every meal can be a good idea. However, anytime can be the best time to floss your teeth. It needs to be a part of the overall daily oral hygiene routine to ensure your teeth and gums remain clean. Flossing and brushing should be given equal importance.

Types of floss for teeth

What is the best dental floss? There is no one-line answer to this question. Depending on your dentist’s recommendation, you can opt for nylon (multifilament) floss or Teflon/polytetrafluoroethylene (monofilament) option made from a single strand. Multifilament floss is available in unwaxed and waxed variants. Both can be equally good when it comes to removing plaque, but price-wise, single filament floss is expensive.  The monofilament alternative happens to be shred-resistant as well. Multifilament floss consists of tiny nylon filaments that are woven together for forming a single strand. It can break with time but is often considered a much more comfortable option compared to monofilament floss. On the other hand, Teflon, as well as polytetrafluoroethylene, made flossers (monofilament) are resistant to fraying and can last longer.

In a waxed variant, the filament is treated with wax (beeswax in most cases) to offer more comfort while flossing. Compared to unwaxed floss, some people find wax option smoother on their teeth. However, both variants are safe and do not cause any damage to the teeth if used daily.

Round and flat types of floss, happen to be the most commonly sold shapes at supermarkets and pharmacies. For an individual whose teeth are closer, a flat floss can do the trick due to their maneuverability. The ones that are too smooth may slide over the gunk. On the other hand, those with little roughness and texture can prove to be useful when it comes to scrubbing and cleaning.

For those who love flavors, bubblegum, cupcake, grape, salad, cranberry, and cinnamon are some of the flavor options widely available. Flavored strings can help in bringing consistency, pleasantness, and motivation in flossing.

Other popular options are the floss-picks that have the woven/unwoven material between two posts attached to a handle. Floss-picks make the entire flossing procedure simple for people who find it challenging to use fingers while cleaning.  There are several shapes and size options available.

Choose the thin string that can slide smoothly between tight spaces. There are some specially designed products to clean the back molars as well. People with sensitive gums can opt for stretchy, soft floss. If you have braces, you can choose specially designed flossers.  

Individuals who do not wish to use traditional strings can go for water flossers that emit streams of water with pressure to remove the food particles. Dentists recommend it to patients suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, and arthritis.

Is flossing bad for your gums

FDA approved flossers need to pass rigorous tests and quality checks.

Remember, oral care products do not contain animal ingredients, harmful flavor, sweeteners, color, or synthetic waxes.

Flossers do not cause damage to the denticle and are recommended to patients suffering from periodontal condition. It is gentle on gums; however, after flossing for the first time, the patient’s gum may bleed a bit or turn tender for a few days. This condition is reasonable, and the bleeding would stop automatically after some time. Just ensure that you use the correct procedure and opt for flossers recommended by your dental care expert.

Use your forefingers and thumbs to hold the thin strings. Floss gently, slowly between the teeth and never snap it between the gums.

Should children start flossing at an early age?

Good dental health can positively impact a person’s appearance and general health. Thus, oral health routine needs to be introduced to the kids since early childhood. They should be taught to take care of their teeth, gums and overall oral health by adding brushing and flossing habit in their life. Use children-friendly flossers and make flossing a fun activity by joining them as well as rewarding them.

It is advisable to visit a dental office and let your dentist recommend the appropriate type of flossers if you have bridges, sensitive gums, braces, and dental implants. Are you looking for a Roswell (GA) based dental care expert? You can always fix an appointment at TruCare Dentistry for discussing your doubts regarding flossing.