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How To Properly Floss Your Teeth

It is surprising that such a simple and tiny tool such as a cord of thin filaments can have so much impact on human life. Since the American Levy Spear Parmly invented the first type of dental floss, over two hundred years ago, dentistry has developed a lot; and so have the materials and flossing techniques.

Dental floss types
Independent from the question, if one prefers nylon (multifilament) or even a PTFE (polytetrafluorethylene monofilament) flosses, waxed or unwaxed ones, with flavor or even using electricity, whatever material is preferred, a proper use is essential.

Flossing step by step
Most periodontal diseases appear between tooth gaps, where toothbrushes hardly can reach. Proper flossing is achieved in five-six, but important steps, which should be carried out in the proper order and taking care of the details, as explained in the following.

1. Holding the floss correctly
Using about 18 inches of floss, hold each end of the floss filament in one of your hands, bend large part of it around each middle finger, so that one or two inches of the material is left at both ends. Proper holding of the floss ensures that the filament will not slip out uncontrolled and hurt the gum-line.

2. Cleaning the gaps
With your thumbs and forefingers, the filament has now to be positioned in the gap between the teeth and is gently pulled up-and-down. It is important to hold the floss well with the fingers and to move vertically, not horizontally. Horizontal movements are not efficient and will not take out all the dirt from your teeth.

3. Cleansing the tooth base
In a next step, twist the floss around the tooth base, just beneath the gum-line, bring it into a C-shape against the tooth. Then slide slowly into the space between the gum and the glide around it softly. Take care not to grind or even cut the gum tissue, which could lead to bleeding, swollen or even as well as sore gum.

4. Rubbing tooth sides
Once the gaps around the tooth are clean, rub the sides and then relieve food rests and plaque. Clean also the inner side of your teeth.

5. Moving on from tooth to tooth
After cleansing of each tooth, pick up the filament newly, moving it slightly forward towards an unused, clean section. Don’t forget to cleanse also the teeth at the back.

6. Extracting the floss
Finally, extract the floss from the tooth gap upwards with smooth movements back-and-forth. Finish the procedure by rinsing vigorously your mouth to remove any remaining dirt.

Flossing once a day
Dentists estimate that tooth loss in an average of 35% of adults is normally caused by gum diseases, rather than by tooth cavities. Proper flossing means doing it on a regular basis, at least once a day, at best after every meal. In the beginning, flossing might seem like a complicated and more demanding procedure, which takes its time. If your gum bleeds at the beginning, you probably floss too hard. Start more softly! With daily routine, the practice will become easy and your gum will become stronger.

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