In India, flossing is, shamefully, not a common practice. Most people stop at brushing and cleaning their tongues and the occasional mouthwash. On the contrary, Flossing is just as important as brushing teeth.

India is home to many highly-ranking colleges like Mansarovar Dental College. Here, besides learning how to take care and operate on teeth, they also learn the following benefits of flossing and how to floss.

Why Should One Floss?

There are more benefits to regular flossing than just removing food particles from between teeth. Elaborated below are some such benefits.

Prevent Bad Breath: All the chewing gums, mints, and mouthwashes in the world cannot remove bad breath. To remove the problem, one must go to the root cause and remove it. Plaque and tartar buildup are definitely leading causes of bad breath. The solution is to floss every day.

Gums Are Healthier: Gum diseases like periodontitis and gingivitis are two horrible but serious diseases that lead to even bone deterioration. Flossing benefits not just teeth but also gums by removing tartar and germs.

Remove Plaque and Tartar Build Up: Plaque is a sticky but colorless film that builds on the teeth and gum which is a result of consuming sugar and starch. If this acid is left to marinate the teeth can harden and lead to tartar along with the gum. Brush and floss every day for best results.

Prevent Cavities: As a continuation of the previous benefit, the presence of plaque can lead to cavities. Cavities or tooth decay if left leads to more painful and expensive treatments like root canals. To prevent it, floss regularly to get rid of stuck food and prevent tooth decay.

Confident Smile: Gone are the days when people go about their day with food stuck in their teeth only to realize later how embarrassing it was. Flossing regularly will help prevent a host of other mouth diseases and problems later. Better and healthy teeth will naturally create confidence to smile freely.

When and How Often Should One Floss?

So we have discussed the benefits of flossing. We know we should floss, but how often and when should we floss? Should we do it each time have a meal or each time we brush our teeth?

For adults, flossing once a day is enough. It should not take more than a few minutes in a day. Take out time in the morning, as in the evenings one is more tired and looking forward to sleep. Alternatively, one can take out time to floss during lunch as well.

Children need to floss as well. However, one should be extra careful with their teeth. Parents can help them floss once a day till the child reaches the age of 9 to 10. Post that the child will get a hang of the process themselves.

It is necessary to keep in mind that flossing should not hurt and should not cause bleeding. If any of the two does happen, then the flossing is not being done correctly. However, being too gentle might not dislodge the food particles at all. Take time to get used to flossing. After a week or two of regular flossing, it should become a habit and part of the daily routine.

Types Of Floss And Choosing The Best One

The market is flooded with several types of floss. Picking one at random could possibly do more harm than benefit. To ensure there is minimal damage to the gum line while also cleaning in between the teeth, one must choose the right floss. The different types of floss one can buy are as below.

  • Waxed Floss: Similar to the unwaxed version of the floss, the waxed version has an extra layer of wax making it stronger. It glides better but since it is thicker cannot squeeze between small gaps.
  • Unwaxed floss: This is the most common type of floss and this does not come with any flavor. It is thin and perfect for small gaps but this also means that it breaks easily.
  • Dental tape: The Dental Tape, also comes in waxed and unwaxed versions. It is much thicker and is meant for larger gaps. Most people do not opt for this type of floss as it cannot get into crowded teeth.
  • Polytetrafluorethylene Floss: Polytetrafluorethylene is a strong material that is also great for gliding between teeth. However, acids like carcinogens are used in their manufacture and long-term use is not recommended.
  • Super Floss: People with bridges or braces or wide gaps between teeth often have a harder time flossing than regular people. This is where super floss comes in. The construction of the Super Floss makes it easy to navigate between any dental fittings.
  • Water Floss: One of the newer flosses, is water floss. A stream of water is pushed out in high pressure in a thin stream to fit between teeth and remove particles.
  • Air Floss: Similar to water floss, the air floss machine lets out a stream of high-pressure air. Research has shown air floss is able to remove 99% more plaque than manual brushing of teeth.

How To Floss?

By now it must be pretty evident that flossing is essential to good oral health. Still, how should one go about flossing? Simply using floss and aggressively rubbing the teeth could harm the gum and cause them to bleed. Any of the top dental colleges in Bhopal teach the following step by step process on how to properly floss teeth

  • Take around 18 inches of floss between both hands. Wrap the loose ends around the middle finger of each hand. Unwrap more floss as it keeps getting dirty.
  • To start flossing grab the piece of floss between thumb and forefinger.
  • Insert it between two teeth. Move the floss in a rubbing motion. Make sure to go slow and gentle.
  • Towards the gum line, wrap the floss around the tooth and then move it. The wrapped floss should resemble a C shape.
  • Repeat the process on all teeth. Pay special attention to the back teeth.
  • Once done, throw away the piece of floss. Do not re-use used pieces of floss.

Good oral health care is not restricted to dentists and graduates from BDS college in Bhopal. Taking a few minutes in the daily routine to floss can prevent a host of diseases in both the teeth and gum. It is essential to remember that it is never too late to start flossing.