• Dr Sonal Naran

Is FLOSSING really that important ?


Have you ever felt a slimy, fuzzy coating on the front of your teeth? That coating is plaque, and if you leave it for too long, it can cause damage to your gums and teeth. What can you do to stop plaque at home? Floss!


Image from : https://healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed/postings/2016/08/flossing.php



What is plaque?

Plaque is a bacterium containing substance made from leftover food particles and saliva that mix in your mouth. If you don’t clean your teeth properly, it begins to form and build up on your teeth. If it is left for too long, it can change into a hard substance, known as calculus or tartar. This can then progress to gum disease. Fighting plaque buildup on your teeth will be a life-long part of good dental care.


Image from: https://lakeforestdentalarts.com/benefits-and-disadvantages-of-dental-plaque/

What does flossing do?

Flossing assists in removing the plaque that builds up in between your teeth and gums. Even if you brush twice a day, there are areas your toothbrush will not be able to reach. Dental floss can clean these hard to reach tooth surfaces. This can help prevent gum disease and tooth decay. It is essential to include flossing to your daily oral hygiene routine.

Flossing technique

To ensure that you get the maximum benefit of flossing, it is crucial to follow the correct technique. Below is the technique explained by the American Dental Association (ADA).



Other interdental tools:

1. Floss wands/picks

Floss wands are used to hold the floss. This may be easier for some people; however, it can be harder to get the floss at the gum line and it’s hard to use a clean section each time.


2. Interdental brushes

These brushes have a small head with bristles held on by a wire and fit in the spaces in between the teeth i.e. interdental spaces. They come in different sizes to suit different patients and different interdental spaces.


3. Electric water flossers & Piks

Electric flossers or oral irrigators are a common alternative to string floss. They mix water and air pressure to clean between the teeth.

How often should I floss?

It is recommended to brush twice a day and clean between the teeth once a day. It is also important to not reuse floss, and to discard after you have used it.


When should I floss?

There is no set time to floss, however, it is suggested to floss at night before bed time. When we sleep, there is a decreased amount of saliva in our mouth to protect the oral cavity.

So do you floss your teeth? Let us know if you have any questions or would like a demonstration.

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