How do I floss my teeth?

You are never fully dressed without your smile

Isn’t it is true that smile is the best curve and we all wish for white sparkling smile. Now we all are very much aware about brushing and in twenty first century, it’s a morning routine which we follow certainly. But in this article, we will talk about the additive practice with brushing which is not quite famous in India is “dental floss”. Joel Spolsky said that, “Writing specs is like flossing: everybody agrees that it’s a good thing, but nobody does it.”This statement by Joel clearly expressed that being a good habit flossing is still not practised faithfully.


History of floss!

In year 1819, Levi Spear Parmly was the first to introduce the idea of interdental cleaning with filamentous material along with dentifrices and tooth brush. Later in 1882, unwaxed silk floss was introduced by Codman & Shurtleff. But in year 1887, Johnson & Johnson were the one who marketed the dental floss and made it available. But during the second world war the production of silk was foreshortening and Dr Charles C. Bass invented nylon dental floss. Nylon was not only more readily available, but it was also more durable. Within a century, the idea of cleaning between the teeth with floss was common dental knowledge.


Why do we need to floss?

Although we brush daily and we think that our basic regime to maintain an oral hygiene is completed, but in actual brushing only removes the plaque from the chewing surface of your teeth whereas the areas between the teeth or interdental spaces are still remains the habitat of the residual bacteria.

Flossing helps in removing plaque from the hard to reach area by toothbrush. According to the American Dental Association, we should floss daily to maintain a good oral hygiene. Combination of daily flossing and brushing prevents the dental caries and periodontal diseases. Adapting the habit of flossing is one of the easiest, inexpensive and safest methods of minimizing the risk of long-term dental diseases.

In recent studies by Dr Roger Sandre, flossing is always important especially when you are undergoing active cancer treatment because the patients with low immunity are prone towards the risk of getting infections and dental infections can cause life threatening conditions if the infection is not cleared from the blood stream. So, to keep your dear ones who are fighting with cancer let them know that the growth of bacteria should not get out of control.

But we can say that regardless of your health status one should always have the habit of flossing.


How to floss

1.Take a 18 inches long floss thread and wind it along your middle finger of each hand and use the thumb to direct the floss in upper teeth.

2.Now pinch the floss between the two thumbs and forefingers of opposite hands such that in the end 1-2 inches long floss will be there in between your hands.

3.By using zig-zag motion gently guide the floss between your teeth and under your gum line until you feel the resistance.

4.Bend the floss around each tooth in a “C” shape and each tooth should be floss thoroughly with a new section of floss.

5.Remember to floss behind your back teeth.


Most of the patients attribute their lack of dental flossing due to the lack of motivation and difficulties in using the floss as they do not know the correct technique of flossing.

In the end, we can say that there is only one goal that’s to keep working and keep flossing.

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