Dental floss is a very important part of oral care. The use of dental floss at least once a day together with proper tooth brushing completes oral care to a great extent and prevents cavities and bad breath.

Dental floss 

Interdental spaces collect food residues. Although these residues are cleaned with toothbrushes, the remaining pieces cause tartar over time. Toothbrushes may not be sufficient to remove tartar. Dental floss is used to clean the spaces between teeth.

Why use dental floss? 

Dental floss is a very important part of oral care. The use of dental floss at least once a day together with proper tooth brushing completes oral care to a great extent and prevents cavities and bad breath.

Food particles are broken into small pieces in the mouth with the help of saliva and adhere to the tooth surfaces. Toothbrushes largely remove food particles sticking to surfaces. However, some parts on the tooth surfaces, even in small amounts, cannot be cleaned with toothbrushes. More importantly, most of the food particles that get between the teeth are not cleaned with toothbrushes. The remaining food residues accumulate bacteria over time, forming plaques. These plaques turn into dental calculus (tartar).

The way to clean between teeth is to use an interface brush or dental floss. Dental floss is the most preferred interface cleaning device due to its ease of use and economy.

The use of dental floss prevents bacterial accumulation and plaque formation between teeth. It prevents dental caries and infections caused by plaques and tartar. In this way, there is no need for expensive, troublesome and painful dental treatments.

For this reason, daily flossing is recommended as part of oral care from the age of 12 onwards.

What should be considered when choosing dental floss? 

Dental floss is divided into two according to the material used in its content. These:

  • nylon dental floss
  • PTFE is dental floss.

There are also two types of dental floss according to their design. These:

  • Roll of dental floss
  • It is toothpick floss.

Nylon dental floss is preferred because it can be made in various colors and odors, but the risk of wear and breakage is high. This risk is high, especially in mouths where tooth gaps are small. In PTFE floss, on the other hand, the risk of wear and breakage is lower due to the material used.

Toothpick type dental floss is practical to use and provides a faster cleaning. However, it can cause problems when used in mouths with sensitivity in the gums. It should be used more carefully.

How to use dental floss? 

Dental floss is thin and soft. If you have trouble using it, you can try a thicker floss. Avoid aggressive movements while flossing to avoid damaging your gums. Dental floss is a thin, soft thread. If you find it difficult to use floss, you can try a thicker dental tape.

Unless otherwise recommended by your dentist, flossing in general is as follows:

  • 40-50 cm long dental floss; Wrap the middle fingers of both hands, leaving a space of 2.5 – 5 centimeters between them, provided that they are not too tight. Do not wrap more than one floss on one finger.
  • Stretch the floss between your teeth with your index and thumbs. Be careful not to break the floss and not to damage your gums.
  • When the floss reaches your gum line, bend your floss in a “C” shape towards the tooth until you feel resistance, and gently run it up and down your teeth in a gripping manner. In the meantime, don’t forget to clean below the gum line. Hold the floss against the tooth. Gently scrape the edge of the tooth, removing the floss away from the gum. Repeat on the other side of the gap along the edge of the next tooth.
  • When you move on to the next tooth, use the unused portion of floss. Don’t forget behind your last tooth.
  • When flossing, stay in a regular pattern. Start at the top and work from left to right, then go down and work from left to right again. That way you are less likely to miss any teeth.
  • The floss slides easily between two healthy teeth. However, dental floss is worn in the areas where caries formation begins, it cannot slip. Floss or deformation may occur in the floss. In such a case, a dentist should be consulted immediately without waiting for sensitivity or pain in the teeth.

 When is the effect of flossing visible? 

From the day it is used, dental floss begins to benefit our oral health. In a short time, it is noticed that the teeth and gums look healthier. Over time, depending on clean teeth and gums, it is felt that bad breath decreases and breath is freshened.

My gums bleed while flossing, should I be worried? 

No, don’t worry. Gum bleeding is common in the first period of flossing. It can be the result of a pre-existing gum disease, or it can be caused by dental floss or user-related problems. Over time, gum bleeding will decrease and pass. If your gum bleeding continues for a long time, contact your dentist.

What ages are best for flossing? 

Dentists recommend flossing to anyone over the age of 12. There is no specific age for this.

Can I wash and reuse dental floss? 

Dental floss is disposable. During use, the bacteria remaining between the teeth adhere to the dental floss. In reuse, these bacteria are adhered to the teeth again. Washing the dental floss is not enough to clean the bacteria. On the other hand, since the floss used will wear out, it will damage the teeth in repeated use.