01 Mar

Flossing a London habit

Daily flossing has to go hand in hand with brushing of teeth to achieve maximum oral hygiene. Brushing cleans the surface of the teeth and flossing prevents the formation of plaque in the small spaces between the teeth. The plaque formation starts immediately after the brushing, taking another day to form fully. The flossing done daily prevents its’ formation. The common inhabitants of the mouth, the bacteria, are just waiting for an opportunity to flourish. Let us not oblige them!
The plaque is actually a gel-like sticky substance formed by bacteria. The plaque formation if left undisturbed progresses due to calcification into tartar within 24 to 72 hours. This is harder to remove and can be done only by your London dentist. The minerals from the saliva and oral fluids help the calcification process. Complications like gingivitis, abscesses and bone infection should not arise due to our negligence. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums with swelling and subsequent bleeding. Abscesses (pockets of pus) occur in advanced infection of the gums. In patients with little resistance, infections of the jawbone may occur resulting in a difficult-to-reverse situation. Halitosis accompanies the plaque formation and the odor is worse in the infections.
Dental flossing prevents dental caries, halitosis, gingivitis and advanced infections. Inconsistent flossing will be as harmful as no flossing. The technique of flossing needs to be correct without causing harm to the gums or teeth.
Floss is obtained in 10 metre or 50 metre lengths in plastic containers. Sufficient length is loosely wound around the fingers, thumb and index, and inserted between the teeth and rubbed gently upwards in a C-shaped curve around the teeth from just below the gum line ( where the bristles of a toothbrush do not reach) . The back teeth should not be neglected. This technique removes food particles and plaque formation. Learn from a London dentist or a hygienist the correct method. If despite bettering your technique, you have bleeding, see the dentist.
Floss may be available in ribbon or string forms. For children the ribbon form may be better suited as teeth would be wider apart. There may be lightly waxed, waxed or unwaxed varieties. The waxed variety serves crooked or misaligned teeth better. You can indulge in your favorite flavour; plain, cinnamon, mint and bubblegum. Special plastic wands are available to help hold the floss. Floss is made from Nylon or Teflon.
Newer varieties of floss are being developed. Oral-B has produced the ‘Ultra-Floss’ which is ultra strong, a thicker woven but softer single strand unlike the earlier floss which is made up of several strands. It is less rough on our fingers and available in shorter strands. ‘Butler Weave’ from the John O’ Butler company does not shred easily, is smoother, glides more easily and acts like a tape covering more surface of the teeth during the flossing. Daily teeth brushing and flossing together contribute to our oral hygiene.