woman flossingDental floss is tool for oral hygiene. The floss is a bundle of thin filaments made usually with polymers, silk and plastic. It may be flavored or unflavored, and it may also be waxed or unwaxed. The floss used by inserting it in between teeth and scraped along the teeth sides, and areas near the gums and root of the teeth. Flossing can remove food debris that brushing cannot remove. Dr. Breazeal recommends flossing once a day along with brushing. However, flossing is not a substitution for tooth brushing. Studies have shown that flossing along with brushing reduces the incidence of gingivitis than brushing alone.

The first dental floss was made of silk and used in New Orleans in 1815. The first mass produced floss was produced in 1882; it was unwaxed silk floss. In World War 2, together with tooth brushing, flossing was popular especially with soldiers, and was recommend by the United States Military. During World War 2, nylon floss was developed and became popular. Soldiers who became accustomed to brushing and flossing introduced the habit to the civilian population.

Dental floss is usually sold in small plastic containers with a small blade to cut the floss. Dental floss products vary in length, but are most commonly sold in lengths ranging from 10 meters to 100 meters.

To use the dental floss, a sufficient length is held in one hand along the fingers in a C shaped manner. The floss is guided to the surface of the tooth, along the small gaps, in the root of the tooth and the gums. The floss removes food debris and bacteria adhering to the surfaces of the teeth which brush bristles cannot reach. Moving the floss in an up-and-down manner will result in scraping against the surface of the tooth and removing plaque and other debris. Dentists recommend one clean section of floss per inter-tooth space to avoid transmission of bacteria between teeth.

Thickness is an important factor in flossing. If the floss is too thick, it cannot enter in between the gaps of the tooth line and will get stuck. If the floss is too thin; it cannot take the pressure of scraping against the tooth and may break. Thin floss easily breaks and cannot be of any use. Each mouth is unique; therefore try to choose the right thickness of floss by taking into consideration the spacing of your own teeth.

Specialized floss are available in the market today, most consist of a plastic handle which is easier to use and can reach into unreachable areas by regular flossing alone.

Feel free to ask your hygienist or Dr. Max Breazeal if you have questions about flossing at your next dental appointment at The Max Dental Center of Collierville, TN.!

Visit your dentist in Collierville TN, Dr Max Breazeal

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