Brushing alone removes about 50% of the plaque in your mouth. Studies have shown that when flossing is combined with brushing up to 70% of plaque is removed. Flossing will enable you to reach areas that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush, specifically between teeth and under the gumline, where dental plaque accumulates. Careful removal of food residue and plaque between the teeth is particularly important for patients with orthodontic appliances, implants and bridges. The selection of a dental floss is based on individual need and preference.
How to go about flossing:
First, it is important to find a floss that is comfortable for you and adapted to your specific needs.
- Take approximately 15-20 cm of dental floss and wrap the ends around the middle finger of each hand. Using the thumb and index finger of each hand, grasp a segment of approximately 2.5 to 5 cm and insert it, with the help of the thumbs, between the upper teeth.
- While keeping a segment of the dental floss (approx. 2.5 to 5 cm) tight between your fingers, use your index fingers to insert it between the contact surfaces of two lower teeth.
- Gently move the floss between the teeth in a zigzag pattern. DO NOT SNAP THE FLOSS INTO YOUR GUMS. This can cause damage to your gums. Pass the floss well over the entire form of the tooth.
- Using an upward and downward motion, slide the floss against the tooth surface and under the gumline.
Dental floss is especially useful:
• For tight spaces between natural teeth.
• In cases in which there are individual implants.
• In the presence of dental prostheses on natural teeth and on implants, or orthodontic appliances.
Do I really need to floss my teeth?
Yes, you do NEED to floss. Brushing alone reaches only 3 out of 5 tooth surfaces. The surfaces between the teeth where the toothbrush can't reach are areas where periodontal diseases often start.
It’s hard for me to get in the habit of flossing every day
For all of us, certain habits are more difficult than others to establish. Of course, the best way to establish any habit is to learn the skill when we are children. As adults, flossing is just as important as brushing. Here are some of the tips that may help: Make sure to take it with you wherever you go. Put it in your car, in your briefcase, inside your daily planner, in the shower or anywhere you regularly are. Our lifestyles frequently keep us away from home, so the dental floss in the bathroom cabinet might be too far away for us to use. Floss for 21 days and then do not floss on the 22nd day. Usually patients can feel the plaque bacteria building up between their teeth on day 22. Then start flossing again on the 23rd day. Utilize floss that is easy to work with in your mouth and will not shred easily. GUM® flosses are shred resistant and clean very well between the teeth.