To floss … or not to floss…that is the question…
March 26, 2010
79% of over 35’s suffer from gum disease, it’s surely a statistic that will make you think more about your brushing routine? But however good we are with a brush, brushing alone will only reach 60% of the tooth’s surface. As dentists will tell you it’s flossing that will really make a difference to our gum health.
For many of us dental flossing is not considered an important part of our dental regime and we often put it down to lack of time and busy lifestyles. Yet regular flossing in between teeth is essential in preventing gum disease and tooth decay which has been proven to be one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults. The build up of plaque, a film of damaging bacteria, collects in hard to reach areas such as along gums and in between teeth and can lead to serious problems later on. Although we can’t stop plaque from forming, we can prevent it from getting worse by regular cleaning. Regular flossing breaks up and removes plaque from between teeth and at the gum line, where gum disease often begins.
So there we have it! Regular brushing is simply not enough in our fight to maintain the perfect smile! So here are our top tips for flossing
Tips on flossing:
• Ideally floss after each meal – a pack of floss is much more portable than a toothbrush so is a great way to look after your teeth on the move
• If you are really pushed for time, start by flossing just once a day, it’s best to at night before going to bed
• It’s normal to experience some gum bleeding at first, and this is telling you that you really do need to floss regularly to get your gums more healthy
• For a motivating floss experience try Oral B Indicator Floss – it turns blue to show you it’s working!
• There are different types of dental floss to consider. Choose from: dental tape, waxed floss, woven floss or unwaxed floss. For advice ask your hygienist or dentist to recommend which is most appropriate for you.
A flossing step by step
• Select the type dental floss that you prefer
• Tear off a piece of floss about 18 inches long
• Wrap one end of the floss around either your middle or index finger
• Wrap the other end of the floss around the finger on your opposite hand.
• Grip the floss tightly between your thumb and finger
• Gently insert the dental floss between your teeth. Be careful not to snap the floss or you could damage your gums
• Gently move the floss back and forth against the tooth on both sides and underneath the gum line
• Repeat this process in between all of the upper and lower teeth.
• It is important to floss against the backside of a tooth even if there is no tooth behind it
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