Flossing vs. Brushing
Before we address the topic at hand, let us first comment on the differences between brushing and flossing in terms of what they do. Brushing takes away the plaque from the surfaces of your teeth that you can see, which only the front is and back of the teeth, but if you think about the surface of a tooth; it is three dimensional and not just two surfaces. There are areas where plaque can get lodged in the crevices and turn into calculus, which can be completely prevented by flossing. This loosens the plaque and leftover food in the hard to reach areas, such as between the teeth and underneath the gums. Most dentist you run into will tell you that flossing is, indeed, more important that brushing because you are reaching more areas that are prone to decay and tartar buildup. One of the most important reasons that dentist say that flossing is more important than brushing is due to the possibility of building a gum disease, such as gingivitis.
How to Properly Floss
The best type of floss to use is the string floss because it allows you to contour around the teeth better than the floss picks that have little give to them. The floss picks are good at removing the debris directly between the teeth, but the plaque under the gums that is curved around the apex of the tooth is difficult to reach with floss picks. Using the floss picks is better than not using any type of floss, but it is recommended that regular string floss be used.
When flossing, think of the area between the teeth as a “Y,” because you first you all the way up or down passively and then contour the floss in the direction of a “Y,” on both sides. Make sure to rub back and forth a few times to ensure that all the plaque or debris from that day is gone. After you are done “properly,” flossing you should rinse with water and proceed to brush your teeth keeping the toothbrush half on the tooth and half on the gum; moving in small circle. Do not brush too hard, or you will get gum recession, and make sure to press hard enough to remove the plaque.
As I alluded to before, using the floss picks are inferior to the string floss, and the string floss is so much cheaper, anyways! Any brand that is string floss will do the trick, and if you have very tight contacts, there are special types of floss, such as glide, that allows you to reach between those difficult to reach areas.
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