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How to floss? Learn about the techniques recommended by oral health specialist

As you've probably heard throughout your life, tooth brushing is the best way to ensure the highest possible level of oral health. By carrying out this type of measure correctly, we can efficiently eliminate dental biofilm, a substance that contains a large number of potentially harmful bacteria that can cause serious diseases such as cavities and other important infections in the gums and soft tissues.


Don't know how to floss for better oral health?


Among the devices that are recommended to be used to clean the spaces that exist between our teeth, interproximal brushes and dental floss or floss stand out. The latter tend to be the most used due to their popularity, as well as their great ability to fit into small spaces. Next, we will explain how to floss correctly.


What are dental floss?


This type of oral hygiene product consists of thin strands made up of one or more filaments made of synthetic materials such as nylon or plastic, which are used to remove food debris or dental biofilm accumulations in their initial phases, which are usually lodged in the areas that are between the teeth.


Types of dental floss


Various types of dental floss can be obtained on the market depending on the characteristics of their composition, as well as the presence or absence of some additives. In this sense, we see that there are both multifilament and monofilament threads. Both types guarantee similar cleaning results, although while the former can fray, the latter will tend to be more resistant.

Additionally, there are dental floss that are coated with wax, as well as others that completely dispense with that substance. From a performance point of view, both types guarantee similar results, however, the former will cause less friction and reduce chafing and gum injuries. It is important to choose a suitable one before figuring out how to floss.


Finally, we have that these oral hygiene devices may or may not contain fluoride. As we know, this chemical element guarantees us cleaner teeth thanks to its bactericidal and regenerative properties of tooth enamel.


Reasons to floss


As we have commented previously, dental floss allows us to eliminate bacteria that can proliferate in our mouth and cause the chances of suffering from diseases to increase. Many of them can have important implications for the local conditions of our oral tissue, but also for general health.


Learn how to floss and why do it in your daily oral hygiene:


Preventive measure against oral and systemic diseases


By using dental floss, in conjunction with correct brushing and professional dental cleaning, we will be keeping our mouth completely clean, avoiding the presence of cavities, inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), periodontitis and other conditions. On occasions, these conditions can cause serious alterations, such as the presence of abscesses or the destruction of the bone tissue that supports the teeth, as well as the loss of one or more teeth.

If these infections spread out of control, they can get into the bloodstream and, once there, affect various organs or tissues in our bodies. In this sense, the organs that are most frequently affected by this cause are the heart and the lungs, sometimes leading to endangering the patient's own life.


Elimination of halitosis

Another unwanted consequence of the presence of bacteria in the mouth is the existence of bad breath (halitosis) which, although it improves after brushing, after a few minutes it reappears with the same intensity. This occurs because microorganisms tend to release fetid gases as a product of their metabolic processes. By removing these pathogens, this unpleasant sensation should disappear. Hence the importance of knowing how to floss.


Preservation of prosthetic pieces


The positive effects of dental hygiene that contemplates the use of this type of thread not only allow us to take care of the structure and health of our natural teeth, but also help to prolong the life of their artificial equivalents. Said prosthetic elements can also be affected by bacteria, which deteriorate their surface, as well as the presence of a fairly common condition known as peri-implantitis.


How to Floss: The Technique


Oral health specialists recommend using this type of dental product at least once a day, suggesting using it after each brushing to obtain better effects.


Previous steps


Before going into the steps you must follow to properly clean your interdental spaces using this type of product, it is important to point out the relevance of choosing the most appropriate type according to your own needs. In this sense, you must verify if its thickness adapts to your interdental areas, as well as verify if they have wax and/or fluoride or if they lack both substances.

If you have doubts about which option will be most beneficial for you, we invite you to consult your trusted dentist.

Then, you should take a piece of the thread that is approximately 40 centimeters long and wrap both ends around the middle fingers or in the middle of both hands. In this position you can tighten the thread using the thumbs and index fingers of both hands. As the thread gets dirty, we must pick it up to use a clean portion of it.


Insertion of the thread in the interdental spaces


Once we adequately hold the piece of thread, we must gently insert it into the first interdental space to be cleaned. You can start doing it on the front or back teeth, that will depend on you, but it is important that you keep a sequence of what you have done so as not to leave unclean areas.

When the thread has entered properly, we must carefully move it to the base of the teeth, without exerting excessive pressure on the gum, as this can cause injuries. From there, we will have to go through the lateral face of one of the dental pieces, gradually moving the thread along its contour, until all accumulated food remains are expelled. Subsequently, you must repeat the procedure, this time, lightly pressing the floss against the opposite tooth, until the interdental area is completely cleaned.

We must repeat the previous step as many times as necessary, until all the spaces are covered.

It is important not to injure our gums, so it is recommended not to make movements with the hands other than those described above. On the other hand, we also suggest that you take the time necessary to carry out this hygienic measure carefully and without haste. As you can see, knowing how to floss is essential to have an impeccable smile.

subsequent actions


Finally, we must discard the dental floss used, because if we use it again we can cause the bacteria and pieces of food previously extracted to be deposited again in our interdental spaces, increasing the chances of the proliferation of bacteria responsible for various oral diseases.




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