Do you floss?
Well, the answer I always get is NO.
In Malaysia, less than 20% of people floss their teeth, and many of them don't even know what is floss. That’s most unfortunate, We dentist say, because flossing is very important in preventing tooth decay in between your teeth and gum disease!
Q: What is flossing?
A: Flossing is to remove food and dental plaque from between teeth by a Dental floss, a cord of thin filaments. Dental plaques, the complex bacteria ecosystem that forms on tooth surfaces that causes tooth decay, gums problems, and eventually tooth loss. Flossing or using other interdental aid is the only way to remove plaque between our teeth.
Q: I haven’t flossed for years now and I still have my teeth and no pain. How bad is it really not to floss?
A: A lot of people wonder if flossing is even necessary, especially if you can’t see any food stuck in between your teeth. Before we get into the answer, let me first ask you this: how bad is it not to vacuum underneath your bed, even if you’re cleaning the rest of your room? How quickly does the dust build up? Have you seen the dust bunnies under the bed? When do you begin to start breathing in that dust? When do mites start growing in that dust? The dust building up under your bed is a lot like what’s going on in your mouth right now.
By not flossing, you are in denial that your brushing is doing a 100% job. As you read this, colonies of bacteria are setting up camp and reproducing in between your teeth and below the gum line — where a toothbrush cannot physically reach. Even if you can’t see them, the bacteria are still there — they’re microscopic and invisible to the human eye. Every day that you don’t floss, these little colonies of bacteria are colonizing and creating a firm foothold onto the sides of your roots, teeth, and gums.The body sees this buildup of bacteria as an invasion, so it sends in its paratroopers to fight it off.
This inflammatory response leads to an eating away of the collagen, fibers and bone that support the teeth! The gum and the bone are the foundation of the teeth, so when they are destroyed, teeth become loose and fall out. If you take away the foundation of a house, it collapses. This chronic inflammatory reaction is also connected to systemic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid and many others.
So, how bad is it not to floss? When do you want to interfere and slow this process that’s happening inside your mouth? The answer is, today!
Q：How to use floss?
A: Flossing isn't easy. People used to calls it “the most difficult personal grooming activity there is.” But practice makes perfect. Here’s how you do it:
Start with about 18 inches of floss. Wrap most of it around the middle finger of one hand, the rest around the other middle finger.
Grasp the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers, and use a gentle shoeshine motion to guide it between teeth.
When the floss reaches the gum line, form a C shape to follow the contours of the tooth.
Hold the floss firmly against the tooth, and move the floss gently up and down.
Repeat with the other tooth, and then repeat the entire process with the rest of your teeth, “unspooling” fresh sections of floss as you go along.
Don’t forget to floss the backs of your last molars. By far, most gum disease and most decay occurs in the back teeth
Q: I don't like to floss, it is so hard to handle the tiny floss inside my mouth. Any other way of doing it?
A：Many tooth-cleaning options exist for people whose manual dexterity is compromised by poor coordination, hand pain, paralysis, and amputations -- or simply by fingers that are too big to fit inside the mouth.
One option is to use floss holders. These disposable plastic Y-shaped devices (some equipped with a spool of floss) hold a span of floss between two prongs to allow one-handed use.
Q: Is flossing suitable for everyone?
A: If you have big gap between your teeth, floss is not suitable for you. You may need to use other types of interdental aids such as interdental brush, water floss, and single tuft brush.
Q: Why my gum bleed when i floss?
A: Your gum bleed when you flossing your teeth because your gum are inflamed, Inflamed gum bleed easily when you touch it. But no worry, If you are not using it gently, it will help to remove the bacteria and plaques. Continue flossing, and the problem will stop after few days. If the problem persist, see the dentist and have a dental scaling.