Dental floss has become crucial in interdental cleaning. This tiny string can help you prevent gum disease by removing the plaque and food particles from between your teeth. The food that gets stuck in your mouth helps the residing bacteria to produce acids, which can cause dental decay and gingivitis. Plaque is the sticky substance that you find on your teeth in the morning when you wake up, and it is a buildup of bacteria. The bacteria in your mouth can irritate the gums and cause inflammation.

How to floss

Dental floss is a soft, thin thread made of plastic or nylon which can remove the plaque and food particles from your mouth. Some people prefer to use dental tape, which is a little bit thicker than floss and it may be easier to use.

It is important to know how to use dental floss because it can damage your gums. You can ask your dentist about what method you should use to floss and how often you should use it. Here are a few tips on how to floss correctly.

  1. Cut a section of approximately 18 inches (45 cm) long and wind it around your middle finger of each hand.
  2. The floss between your fingers should be around 1 – 2 inches (2.5 – 5 cm) long. To better control the string you should grip the floss with the forefinger and thumb and insert it in the gap between two teeth.
  3. Guide the floss up and down against each side of your teeth, even under the gum line. The movements should be gentle. When you reach the gum line, create a C-shape with the string against the tooth and gently scrape away from the gum line.
  4. Repeat the process for every tooth
  5. Don’t forget to floss the teeth at the back of your mouth

Don’t worry if your gums bleed

When you start flossing, your gums could be tender and bleed easily. It ‘s okay to suffer some bleeding at the beginning until the plaque is removed. Carry on flossing, and in time the bleeding will stop as your gums become healthier. If your gums are still bleeding after a week, you should consult your dentist. The dentist will determine if the problem is your flossing technique or is the result of certain conditions.

Flossing may be difficult, but you have other options

If you feel like flossing is difficult, you can try purchasing a floss holder (flosser) or resort to an interdental brush. Those will hold the floss firm and make flossing easier. A lot of people prefer to use interdental brushes because they are easier to use. You will find interdental brushes and flossers at the supermarket or pharmacies. You can also ask your dentist to give you advice on other ways of cleaning your teeth.

Visit your dentist regularly for dental checkups and ask them whatever questions you may have regarding your mouth and dental hygiene.