General Dentisty: How Important is Flossing?

General Dentisty: How Important is Flossing? from Allure Dental of Hollywood in Hollywood, FLThree common general dentistry hygiene techniques are brushing, rinsing, and flossing. Brushing means using a toothbrush and toothpaste and rubbing paste-covered brush bristles across the surface of your teeth. Rinsing involves swishing a special liquid concoction, known as a mouthwash, around in your mouth, then spitting it out. Both practices leave behind a noticeable refreshing and clean sensation in your mouth. So, why do we also need to floss? Read on to understand what flossing is, how to do it properly, and why it is important for your oral health.

Flossing basics

To fully grasp the general dentistry concept of flossing and its importance, you must first know what flossing is, how to floss correctly, and what flossing does for you and your teeth.

What it is

Essentially, flossing is the act of using a device to clean the harder-to-reach and in-between areas of your teeth. You may also hear this called interdental cleaning or these devices referred to as interdental cleaners. Many flosses are thin, string-like materials that can fit between teeth and down along the gumline. They can either be waxed or unwaxed and monofilament or multifilament threads. Floss collects and removes plaque and debris that brushing and rinsing often do not and occasionally cannot reach. There are also a few versions of flossing that use pressurized liquids to blast away particles in areas of the mouth that are more difficult to reach, though these are less common and can be less effective than traditional floss.

How to do it properly

One main reason that many people see flossing as a waste of time is that they do not do it properly. Proper flossing is more than simply running a piece of string between your teeth. The plaque that forms on teeth is usually stuck to the surface and takes decent pressure and force to remove it correctly. The right way to floss is by wrapping the floss around the teeth and using angle and direction to apply sufficient force to break the buildup away from the tooth's surface. You also need to position the floss down along and slightly underneath the gum line to remove the bacteria and debris that regularly gather there.

Why it is important

Flossing is important because it helps ensure that you get to and extract as much plaque as possible from every place in your mouth. Removing the plaque early often keeps it from turning into tartar or causing dental caries, also called cavities or tooth decay, and periodontal disease, colloquially called gum disease. These conditions routinely require more intense dental intervention. Flossing can also keep you from having to make additional, potentially expensive trips to the dentist beyond regular cleanings and examinations. Flossing is especially important because it is better than any other tooth cleaning method at removing the plaque from the areas in which it likes to hide, particularly in between teeth and along or just under your gums.

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Flossing is one of three equally important general dentistry oral hygiene practices. Remember, use that string to reach under, around, and in between teeth and floss every day to help keep dental problems away.

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