Flossing involves the removal of food particles between teeth and also from the gap between the teeth and gums. This is really important to fight plaques and remove the biofilm present on the teeth surface.
PLAQUE IS A STICKY DEPOSIT ON THE TEETH WHERE BACTERIA THRIVE.
When people having plaques consume food containing carbohydrates, the microbes present in the plaque convert these carbohydrates into an acid which is harmful for the tooth enamel. The enamel is gradually decalcified by the action of this acid and the result is the formation of a cavity or lesion in the teeth. The erosion of the enamel layer itself causes utter discomfort while having too hot or too cold food stuffs. If it occurs at an alarming rate and leads to the formation of cavities in the teeth, situations worsen.
So, flossing becomes necessary to protect the enamel layer of teeth and also to prevent the subsequent formation of cavities in the mouth.
There are other harmful consequences of plaque in your mouth cavity as well! Microorganisms in plaque lead to swollen gums (gingiva). Further inflammation may cause gingivitis which destroys the soft tissue structures and ultimately attacks the bone holding the tooth in the socket.
Flossing is the ultimate way to fight periodontal diseases as well as the systemic diseases like cardio-vascular diseases, diabetes, pneumonia and obesity. It should also be kept in mind that plaque formation is a continuous process for which one-time cure is not really possible. So, regular flossing needs to be done for preventing plaque formation.
Flossing is especially important for people undergoing chemotherapy or other such treatments. This is because medications for these diseases lead to a decrease in the amount of saliva in the mouth. Saliva is a protective fluid that prevents the decaying of tooth and gum diseases. So, decrease in the volume of saliva in the mouth will expose you further to these diseases.
Again, acid regurgitation is common in pregnant women. This is a factor accelerating tooth decay and also creates an ideal environment favorable for bacteria to thrive in the body. So, pregnant women require regular flossing.
Many people believe that brushing teeth is sufficient to maintain the proper oral hygiene. However, this is a misconception! Brush cannot clean up the narrow gaps in between teeth and it thus essential to use a floss to clean up those parts.
PEOPLE OF ALL AGES SHOULD FLOSS
Flossing is thus equally important for teens, adults and aged people, especially if they have dental plaques. For diseased individuals, the need for flossing is even more!
However, mere flossing will not help you to be in healthy teeth and gums. You need to flux regularly and that to in the proper manner.
Ideally, you should floss twice a day, after each meal. It is better to floss after brushing and not before it. If you are forgetful by nature, you can set alarms or reminders for it so that you never miss out on it. While flossing, adequate care must be taken so that the delicate tissues in between the teeth are never damaged.
The most effective floss should be used such depending upon the dimension of gap between your teeth and also on your personal preference. You can go for the nylon floss which is made of multiple strands of nylon fabric or monofilament floss that has a single strand. The latter one is more costly and works better since there is no possibility of tearing and shredding unlike the multi-stranded floss.
For a more effective flossing, one should remember the following:
- The floss must be tightly held between your fingers and gently slid between the teeth.
- It should never be snapped using excess pressure since this may damage the delicate tissue between teeth and gums.
- A back and forth motion should be used to move the floss out of the gap.
- Use fresh, clean sections of the floss as you keep on flossing between every two teeth.
- Also, you should put 18-24 inches of the floss away from the floss dispenser.
So, for those of you who want to have healthy gums and teeth, regular flossing is a necessity! Also, make sure you use the right floss in the right way!