How to Dental floss correctly
Oral health is essential to our overall well-being, and a crucial part of this care is Dental flossing. Although brushing your teeth is a very common practice, flossing is often overlooked. In Gallardo Jiménez Clinic we’ll show you, step-by-step, how to floss properly to keep your gums and teeth in tip-top shape.
Why is flossing important?
Before we dive into the details of how to floss properly, it’s important to understand why this practice is so essential for mouth care. While brushing removes most food debris and plaque bacteria, flossing reaches places inaccessible to the toothbrush, such as between the teeth and under the gum line. So flossing helps prevent plaque build-up and tooth decay, and reduces the risk of gum disease.
Steps to flossing correctly
Step 1: Select the right floss
Choosing the right type of floss is critical. There are several types available, including waxed, unwaxed, flavoured, textured and non-textured. Choose the one that best suits your needs and tastes.
Step 2: Appropriate length
Cut about 45 centimetres of floss. This should be enough to wrap around your fingers, leaving a gap between them.
Step 3: Winding the floss
As above, wind the floss between your fingers, leaving about 5-7 cm of floss between your hands. Keep a comfortable space to slide the floss between your teeth without difficulty.
Step 4: Sliding technique
Hold the floss between your thumbs and forefingers, and gently slide it between your teeth, never through your gums. Avoid forcing it, as this can cause bleeding and damage to the oral structure.
Step 5: Inverted ‘C’ shape
Place the floss around the tooth in an inverted C-shape and gently slide the floss up and down. Be sure to get under the gum line, where food debris and plaque tends to accumulate.
Step 6: Using clean floss
Use one length of clean floss for each interdental space. This prevents the spread of bacteria from tooth to tooth.
Step 7: Rinsing and final brushing
Once you have completed flossing all the gaps between your teeth, rinse your mouth with water to remove any loose debris. Then brush your teeth with toothpaste for a thorough cleaning.
Types of dental floss
There are different types of dental floss on the market, but they are all grouped into the following varieties:
- Wax-free floss: as the name suggests, it is not made of wax and is made of thin nylon. It is suitable for very small interdental spaces, but can fray or even break.
- Dental floss with wax: this is the same as above, but includes a thin layer of wax, making it softer to the touch, but this extra layer can make it difficult to access tight areas.
- Dental tape: is flatter and wider than standard dental floss and can be with or without wax. It is designed for those with larger than usual interdental gaps.
- Superfloss dental floss: is made of silk and is suitable for cleaning dentures with orthodontics, dentures or similar. It has a more rigid area and a more spongy area, which means that it can be used by anyone, depending on the specifications of the mouth.
The correct choice and use of floss is an integral part of an effective oral care regimen. By following these steps and maintaining a consistent routine, you’ll be on the right path to a healthier smile and strong gums. Remember that prevention is key, and the time and effort you put into it will reward you with long-lasting good dental health.