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Dental Floss, A Gum Saving Tool

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There are two main types of dental floss available. There is thin nylon filaments which are considered regular floss and then there is plastic ribbon or taped floss. Tape floss can be gentler on the gums. Both types are used to remove food and dental plaque from your teeth. This is achieved by putting the floss between your teeth and scraping it back and forth along the gums and teeth.

The History of Floss

A man by the name of Levi Spear Parmly invented the idea of dental floss by recommending the use of silk floss to clean teeth. The idea wasn’t patented until 1898 by the Johnson & Johnson Corp. Dental floss was not popular until after World War 2, and still isn’t compared to tooth brushing. While most Americans brush their teeth, according to the ADA almost 50% of Americans do not floss at all. This is staggering considering that the ADA recommends individuals floss at least once per day.

How to Use Dental Floss

The American Dental Association advises individuals to wrap the floss around the side of each tooth in a “C” shape and wipe from the gumline to the tip of each tooth several times. This removes the dental plaque attached to the tooth and gumline where brushing cannot get. You should perform flossing gently and correctly or it will result in tissue damage and bleeding gums.

The Benefits of Flossing

Flossing along with brushing helps to reduce the bacteria in our mouths. This will benefit our oral health by preventing periodontal disease, gingivitis, and bad breath. You could compare brushing your teeth and not flossing to mowing your lawn and not edging. It looks better, but not great.  Even though daily flossing is important it is always important to see Dr. Bachus for regular check ups and treatment.

 

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