Using dental floss: oral care tips. Part 1

Dental floss, also known as floss, is designed to remove food residues from hard-to-reach places between the teeth, i.e., from the interdental space, to prevent cavities.

However, there are certain points to be aware of in order to avoid damaging the gums and teeth when using dental floss. Additionally, a conscious approach to using dental floss is necessary due to possible contraindications.

Do you need dental floss: expert opinion

During tooth brushing with a toothbrush, we can effectively remove plaque and food residues from three sides of the tooth out of five, as the space between them may remain inaccessible to the bristles. Therefore, the question arises of how to correctly clean the teeth and how often to use dental floss.

For a complete cleaning procedure, it is necessary not only to mechanically remove food residues but also to treat the surface to strengthen the enamel. Therefore, it is important to include the following steps in daily oral care:

  • brushing teeth and tongue;
  • using an irrigator, dental floss, and interdental brushes;
  • using a mouthwash to create a protective barrier and for final oral hygiene.

Why are toothpicks not included in this list, even though they are so popular? This is because their frequent use can harm the oral cavity, lead to enamel and tissue damage, and deepen the entrapment of food residues under the gum line, which can cause inflammation.

Thus, dentists recommend using dental floss as regularly as a toothbrush with toothpaste to achieve the best results.

Types of dental floss

If the question of frequency of use is resolved, another question arises: how to correctly select the material, thickness, and other characteristics of dental floss. Only your personal dentist can answer this question, taking into account the features of your teeth, but you can also conduct your own experiments.

The following materials are most commonly used for dental floss:

  • Nylon
  • Acetate
  • Capron
  • Silk

Each of them has its own characteristics, and it is necessary to check if it suits you. The floss has a special weave for maximum effectiveness in cleaning and can also be impregnated for disinfection and a fresh feeling. Currently, pharmacies offer a variety of floss types from different manufacturers, some of which are popular, while others are more affordable. In any case, it is advisable to experiment to determine what suits you best.

As for the form of the floss, it is most often available as a spool and plastic case or in the form of disposable sticks. The first option is more durable, while the second is more effective in cleaning hard-to-reach places.

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