Stringing pearls: how dental floss preserves the beauty of teeth
Stringing pearls: how dental floss preserves the beauty of teeth

Dental floss, or floss, is designed to clean the gaps between teeth, dentures, implants. When brushing, the bristles of a toothbrush cannot penetrate deep enough into the interdental space, so food residues that have not been removed will accumulate there. Bacteria multiply in them, which can cause caries, an unpleasant odor, and provoke the formation of tartar. Fine dental floss easily passes through these spaces and removes plaque.

Stringing pearls: how dental floss preserves the beauty of teeth
Stringing pearls: how dental floss preserves the beauty of teeth

Types of dental floss and the difference between them

The floss thread can be twisted from several fine fibers or made from a single thread. Most often it depends on what materials it is made of.

  • Nylon - elastic, inexpensive, fairly durable; dental floss of it are suitable for everyone.
  • Acetate fiber is strong, elastic, good for cleaning dentures, implants.
  • Capron threads are very thin, dense and strong, but rather hard, therefore, they are not suitable for sensitive teeth, with a tendency to bleeding gums.
  • Teflon fibers are hygienic, elastic, and have optimum strength and rigidity when twisted; the threads from it are quite expensive.

Floss also differ in cross section:

  • round are intended for teeth and orthodontic structures with normal or wide spaces;
  • flat threads, or tapes, penetrate well into narrow gaps, quickly and effectively remove plaque from the surface of the teeth.

To impart additional properties and improve cleaning efficiency, the threads can be impregnated with various compositions.

  • No impregnation (not waxed). They are, as a rule, always curled, swell during use, clean the gaps well.
  • Wax. Its thin layer facilitates sliding and reduces the risk of gum damage. Waxed thread is good for children, seniors and those who are just learning to use floss.
  • Menthol. It has a mild antiseptic effect and freshens breath, leaving a pleasant aroma in the mouth.
  • Fluoride. Fiber impregnated with a source of fluoride is recommended for those who are at high risk of developing tooth decay and who live in areas where this micronutrient is deficient.
  • Antiseptic additives. Antibacterial threads are good for those who quickly develop plaque on their teeth, as well as those with a high risk of caries.
  • Bamboo charcoal. It is known for its ability to clean plaque well, especially on dentures, and it also gives a slight whitening effect.

Recommendations for choosing the right dental floss

Knowing about the properties of the fiber and the impregnation of the yarn, you can choose a suitable floss option for yourself. The following tips will also come in handy.

  • For diseases of the gums, the formation of "pockets", with bare necks of teeth, thick threads of soft fiber, without a waxed coating, are recommended.
  • If there is a wide gap between the front teeth, and the other teeth are located normally or crowded, then it is better to use two types of products: for the front teeth - an interdental brush, for the rest - a round floss or tape.
  • For those who have dentures, bridges, implants in their mouths, flosses marked "super" are recommended - they are thicker and denser.
  • Elderly people and children under 10 years old do not cope well with dental floss, so they may need help to clean the interdental spaces.
  • Consult your dentist to select the correct oral hygiene product.

Flossing guidelines

Dentists advise using dental floss after brushing your teeth in the evening. Before or after using a toothbrush is a matter of habit. But if the cleaning of your teeth is completed with a floss, then at the end it is imperative to rinse your mouth with a mouthwash.

The question of using floss after meals must be agreed with the dentist: not everyone and not always shows its frequent use.

Dentists may advise you to give up dental floss for the following diseases and conditions:

  • active phase of periodontitis;
  • gingivitis;
  • untreated caries.

Instructions for use and the main mistakes when using dental floss

Stringing pearls: how dental floss preserves the beauty of teeth
Stringing pearls: how dental floss preserves the beauty of teeth

Usually the application of floss is straightforward. It is convenient to perform the procedure in front of a mirror.

  1. Tear off or cut off about 40-50 cm of thread.
  2. Wind most of the floss around your middle fingers so that there is about 3 cm of floss between them.
  3. Holding the floss between your thumbs and forefingers, gently insert it between your teeth.
  4. Make 6-7 sawing movements, gradually moving in the interdental space in the direction from the gum to the edge of the tooth, slowly and without pressure.
  5. Remove the thread, wind the used part with one finger, and repeat the steps with a clean piece of thread at the next interdental space.

For those who have not yet learned how to use this dental care product, as well as when traveling, when caring for the sick, a flosser can come in handy: a plastic holder for an already attached thread. It is recommended to rinse the flosser before moving on to the next interdental space.

There may be errors or difficulties when using dental floss.

  • When working with floss, you must try not to touch the gums.
  • If the thread is stuck, it is important to remove it without yanking. Be careful not to injure your gums. You can release one end and gently pull out the stuck tail.
  • If the thread often breaks, then it is possible that the product is of poor quality or there is a chip or unevenness on the tooth (prosthesis). In the first case, it is worth replacing the packing of the thread, in the second - contacting the dentist.

Dental floss effectively complements tooth cleaning, helps maintain healthy teeth and reduces the risk of tooth decay.

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