Flossing removes plaque buildup and food particles stuck in between teeth and gums. It improves oral health between dental visits by getting a deeper clean that polishes the tooth surfaces, decreases the chance of tooth corrosion and gum disease, and controls bad breath.

Tooth brushing cleans about 70 percent of the teeth, so failing to floss is like not cleaning the other 30 percent of the mouth. Flossing is one of the most important aspects of oral hygiene, protecting and preventing oral health problems like cavities.

Types of Floss

• Silk and nylon floss. These come in unwaxed or waxed variants. Unwaxed nylon floss is the common regular floss that may or may not have flavors or added breath stabilizers. On the other hand, waxed floss comes flavored and is easier to slide in between teeth. However, it can be more difficult to fit in between tight teeth spaces.
• Plastic and rubber floss. These are a newer technology made with synthetic fibers that do not break or fray as easily as silk or nylon floss. Dental tape is also a kind of monofilament floss. It is shred resistant and is thinner compared to ordinary floss so they are easier to slide between tight teeth spaces.

Flossing Devices

• Regular floss. As stated above, these come in various forms that work well with removing plaque. Depending on the spacing of your teeth and the flavors offered, you should find one that suits the needs of your teeth.
• Floss picks. These are fast becoming a popular way to floss teeth. They come in various sizes and shapes with unwaxed and waxed options and are made to reach spaces that are hard to reach. With this kind of floss, it is recommended that the pick is regularly rinsed of debris and that other food particles do not transfer from one part of the mouth to another.
• Water flossers and water picks. This water flossing uses a stream of pressured water to push debris and food particles out from in between teeth. This method offers a faster solution to flossing, but regular dental floss gives the best results in protecting the teeth and preventing gingivitis.

How to Floss Correctly

To floss correctly, tightly hold the floss between the thumbs and forefingers. Guide it between the teeth with a gentle rubbing motion, making sure that the floss does not snap into the gums. Once the floss reaches the gumline, curve it into a C shape against a tooth. But when someone has braces, implants, or bridges, it can be quite a challenge. Fortunately, there are specialty floss devices that make it easier to floss between teeth even with braces and other extra dental work.

• Super floss. This is a great alternative to regular floss or floss picks which are sometimes hard to maneuver. Super floss comes in three parts: a hard end to enter the teeth, absorbent middle to catch food particles and debris, and a regular floss end to finish in between teeth.
• Floss threaders. These are devices that allow you to pull regular floss in wide-open spaces. They are popular among patients with braces as it allows the floss to go through the gap between the wire and tooth.
• Dental work floss. Made for people with dental work, this is a combination of the above two devices. It has a spongy floss with a built-in threader.

Keep in mind that even when you regularly floss and brush your teeth, it is still recommended that you visit your dentist at least twice a year for regular teeth cleanings. Call your dentist and make an appointment now so you can keep your teeth and your mouth healthy and happy.

Author's Bio: 

Ryan Daniel is a professional Dentist in Castle Hills of Lewisville, The Colony, Tx and genuinely cares about the health and well-being of teeth and gums. Visit my website: D. Dental