Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it has a chance to harden into plaque. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces.
Plaque that is not removed can harden into tartar, a hard mineral deposit that forms on teeth and can only be removed through professional cleaning by a dental professional. When this happens, brushing and cleaning between teeth become more difficult, and gum tissue can become swollen or may bleed. This condition is called gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease.
Flossing helps remove debris and interproximal dental plaque, the plaque that collects between two teeth. Dental floss (or dental tape) helps clean these hard-to-reach tooth surfaces and reduces the likelihood of gum disease and tooth decay.
Flossing cleans the area between teeth and below the gums. When you floss, you are removing plaque from an area that the toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing prevents cavities and gum disease.
How to use a Dental Floss?
Steps to use a dental floss are:
- GRAB at least 18 inches of your favorite floss (about shoulder-width).
- GRIP and TWIRL 1-2x around your middle finger.
- Repeat Step 2 in your other hand, somewhere mid-way through the length of floss.
- Use your pointers and thumbs to hold the floss, about 1 inch apart.
- Insert floss between teeth, slide floss up and down on each side of each tooth. HUG with a "C" shape!
- Wind floss around middle fingers to move to new section of floss for each inter-tooth space.
- TIP: Don't forget to floss behind your back molars too!