What You Should Know About Dental Floss

what you should know about dental floss

One of the best ways to ensure good oral health and hygiene is to use dental floss string. One can do this by placing the string between two teeth and sliding back and forth like a seesaw, removing plaque and food particles that can result in tooth decay and bacterial diseases.

There are many kinds of dental floss on the market nowadays, including ones that are flavored, waxed, and even threaded onto picks.

Nylon is a material that has been commonly used to manufacture dental floss, but sometimes Teflon is used instead. Despite the packaging of dental floss typically hiding the amount of floss remaining, typically a substantial length is strung up in a roll, though this can vary as well.

The roll is wrapped up in an individually sized plastic packaging to keep the roll from getting untangled and unstrung.

A higher quality dental floss can come coated in wax. This is good because it simplifies the gliding action one must perform to insert the floss between teeth and clean out any substances in there. This kind of floss is especially good for individuals with tight teeth.

Other than this benefit, there is no additional benefit to using waxed floss; it does not have any medicinal benefits such as eliminating bacteria or healing the gums. As such, those with teeth that aren’t spaced too tightly needn’t worry about whether the floss they purchase is waxed or unwaxed.

Some dental floss can contain fluoride. This chemical is typically added to dental products since it is thought to protect against tooth decay. Another benefit that some dental flosses can have is adding flavor to the string.

Again, like waxed floss, this has no inherent benefits but some people may be encouraged to floss if their dental string tastes good. It may also slightly freshen one’s breath, however it would be more effective to use mouthwash or a breath freshener.

There are types of dental floss that has been threaded onto dental picks. This product can be used as an alternative to string for those who have difficulty using string.

A dental pick pulls the dental floss taut so that it will not give when being used to floss, and one does not need to hold the ends of the dental floss string tightly themselves.

Whichever type of dental floss you purchase, understand that they are all disposable items. Do not attempt to wash or reuse these products in any way, as it is unsanitary.

The total amount of floss one requires to adequately clean their teeth is dependent on the individual’s technique and skill. It is recommended that at least 18 inches (45 cm) of floss is used each time.

Flossing too hard can result in gum damage and bleeding. If one has not flossed in a long while, their sensitive gums may bleed no matter how careful they are, so do not take blood as a sure fact that something is wrong.

Whatever the case, floss slowly, carefully, and gently. If bloody gums keep occurring, then schedule a visit with your dentist immediately as this can be a sign of gingivitis or other medical conditions.

Photo Credit: Stan Zurek

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