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I promised to talk flossing in details, so here we are!
I’ve already talked about the importance of daily brushing of teeth. More than regular, because to maintain good dental health, one has to brush at least twice daily. However, brushing alone cannot cover the entire teeth surface, reaching for the hidden particles stuck between teeth, and buried in the gums.
I know you’re wondering, what more can I do?
Flossing is a great way to cover much more of the tooth’s surface than regular brushing. Many people think of flossing as something you do only when you have something stuck between your teeth. But, it’s really a practice you should inculcate as part of your daily dental care routine.
Flossing cleans the spaces between your teeth in the same way that your toothbrush cleans the more accessible surfaces. It removes particles and plaque that if left between the teeth can lead to cavities and gum disease. Flossing gives you the expected confidence to smile.
It’s important that people understand the importance of flossing and how it should not be something you do on an as-needed basis. Flossing is every bit as important as brushing, because it helps remove bacteria and inhibit the build up of plaques.
Plaque is a sticky film that builds up on the surface of the teeth. It often leads to cavities and gum diseases. Tar is also another film of dirt that forms at the base of the teeth.
Here are some flossing facts for you:
Flossing every time you brush is a great idea, but you only need to floss once a day to keep your teeth cleaner and your gums healthier.
Brushing your teeth only cleans about 70% of their surface. Floss is intended to reach the rest.
A good flossing only takes 2-3 minutes, so a regular flossing habit won’t cut into a kid’s play time!
It’s important to use a clean section of floss between each pair of teeth. This prevents the transfer of bacteria from one spot to another. That means it’s fine to use a good, long piece of floss — typically 18 to 20 inches.
Ideally you should floss and then rinse before you brush. This makes it easier for the fluoride in toothpaste to reach the between-teeth surfaces.
Using a toothpick to gently remove food from between teeth can be helpful, but nothing beats flossing for doing a complete cleaning between teeth.
I know you’re probably thinking, if I brush my teeth daily and even twice in one day, why should I floss? Well,
Flossing helps to Prevent Gum Diseases:
Gum diseases don’t just happen. They are a progressive condition that build up over time, and it is sad that not many people take it seriously. A lot of us still think it is okay for us to lose our teeth to diseases and infections as we get older. That is so not true!
Fact is, periodontal disease is not the primary cause for pulpal death, chronic unhealthy gums can increase your risk of losing your teeth or needing a root canal. And even though you brush twice daily, it is not enough for good oral hygiene, brushing alone may not protect you from gum disease and the tooth loss that can result.
Many people who suffer from sensitive or bleeding gums may be tempted to avoid flossing for fear of making their bleeding gums worse. But in fact, flossing can improve the health of your gums, thereby helping to prevent them from bleeding.
Regardless of your age, flossing is the extra step necessary for healthy gums and teeth. Flossing and brushing daily helps prevent the risk of gingivitis, by removing plaques and leaving your mouth fresh and clean.
Is There An Age Limit To Flossing?
Of course not! Flossing is a practice for all ages, young and old. In fact, parents are advised to teach their children flossing techniques, to prevent the issue of developing teeth problems as they get older.
When Is The Right Time To Floss?
If you recall in the last article, I explained the need to not rinse your mouth after brushing, yes?
Hold that thought!
Now, flossing is best done after eating. If it is dinner, then you have to floss before you brush your teeth. You can skip it in the mornings if you have to get to work or school on time. After flossing, you brush your teeth, and rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.
Regarding the point I asked you to recall, you can brush your teeth again after rinsing your mouth. Nothing serious, just to rub the paste on the teeth and gum surface. I know it seems a bit much, but you will get used to it.
Ezeani Uchechukwu, AKA Saddam Ninhor, currently undergoing B. TECH programme in Microbiology at Federal University of Technology, Owerri. Despite his science roots, he loves to dabble with words in short stories, poems and also shares knowledge of household and relationship efficiency.
He sets simple goals, working at his own pace to achieve them. This is greatly inspired by the words of Zig Ziglar; "go as far as you can see, when you get there, you will see further."
Social media: Saddam Ninhor(Facebook).