Brushing your teeth isn't enough: Here's why and how you need to floss daily

You will be amazed to know that most of the cavities are seen on the sides of the teeth and not the top.

Myupchar March 12, 2020 11:00:10 IST
content powered by
Brushing your teeth isn't enough: Here's why and how you need to floss daily

If you think that brushing your teeth once or twice daily is all the care your teeth need, then you are mistaken. Oral hygiene does not end at only brushing the teeth.

Brushing can only remove the food and plaque present on the visible surfaces of the teeth. You will be amazed to know that most of the cavities are seen on the sides of the teeth and not the top. These cavities are medically called interproximal caries and are caused due to the food particles that get stuck between two teeth. 

Brushing your teeth isnt enough Heres why and how you need to floss daily

Representational image. Image by muklinika from Pixabay.

Now the question is - what is the best way to clean that space? Well, the answer to this problem is flossing. 

Dental floss is the best way to clean the space between two teeth. It might require more time than using a toothpick but does not cause any harm to either the gums or the teeth.

Why should you floss

Most of us use toothpicks to remove food stuck between two teeth, but hardly anyone knows that using toothpicks can do more harm to your teeth and gums. 

Yes, pushing the pointed end of the toothpick between two teeth creates a gap between them. This gives a chance to the food particles and bacteria to invade that space, thus causing caries (cavities) and gum diseases.

However, flossing removes plaque and debris stuck between the teeth without creating any space, thus reduces the chances of getting cavities. It also prevents bad breath. 

How to use floss

Floss is a waxed thread-like material which is inserted between two teeth to clean that area. Dental floss can be used in two different ways - the spool method and the loop method. 

Spool method:

  • Take a 12-inches-long piece of floss.
  • Wound 2-3 rounds of floss around your middle finger of one hand and then wound the rest of the floss similarly around the middle finger of the other hand. 
  • Now clench the last three fingers of both the hands and move the hands apart. This should pull the floss tightly. 
  • You can secure the floss with your index finger and thumb of each hand. 
  • Pass the floss between two teeth at a time to remove food particles and clean that area.

Loop method:

  • Take an 18 inches long piece of floss. Make it into a circle by securely tying the ends with at least three knots. 
  • Place all your fingers in the loop except the thumbs of both the hands. 
  • Hold the floss with the help of the fingers and thumb of both the hands. 
  • Make sure that at least one inch of floss is left between both the hands. 
  • Pass the floss between two teeth at a time to remove food particles and clean that area.

Floss at least once daily, preferably after dinner and post-brushing or after lunch. Remember that flossing is not a replacement for brushing. 

For more tips, read our article on Oral Hygiene Tips.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

Updated Date:

also read

You may lose your tooth if you smoke marijuana daily, warns study
Life

You may lose your tooth if you smoke marijuana daily, warns study

People who smoke marijuana for a long time have an increased risk of developing gum disease, which may lead to loss of teeth, a new study has warned.

Now, robots to warn people of body ordour, bad breath with snarky remarks
News & Analysis

Now, robots to warn people of body ordour, bad breath with snarky remarks

One of the robots resembles a woman's head and ranks the operator's breath, declaring an "emergency" if it falls into the worst category.

Now, robots to warn people of body ordour, bad breath with snarky remarks
Fwire

Now, robots to warn people of body ordour, bad breath with snarky remarks

One of the robots resembles a woman's head and ranks the operator's breath, declaring an "emergency" if it falls into the worst category.