Flossing is an important part of proper dental hygiene habits. Gum disease starts between the teeth and along the gum line, places where a normal toothbrush simply cannot reach. Floss is an effective tool for preventing the build-up of plaque, but this is only true if the proper flossing techniques are used.

There are four components of proper flossing techniques. The first component has to do with the length of the floss used in in each cleaning. The proper length of floss should be about 18 inches, so that the fingers can wind the floss to create a space of one to two inches to be used per tooth. The patient should use a new section of floss for each tooth to prevent spreading bacteria from one tooth to another. The second component is proper guidance of the floss. The patient should use their index fingers to direct the floss between the teeth on their lower jaw and their thumb to guide the floss between the teeth on the upper jaw.

The third component is gliding the floss between the teeth in a zigzag motion. This allows the floss to reach all parts of the space between the teeth. The patient should contour the floss around the outsides of each tooth and should avoid snapping the floss between the teeth. The fourth component is the sliding action of the floss. The patient should slide the floss down and up along the tooth’s surface and under the gum lines. The flossing process should be thorough and the patient should not reuse the same section of floss.

Flossing is recommended to patients undergoing orthodontic treatment, as this will prevent food particles becoming trapped between the teeth. For patients who have braces such as the Six Month Smiles programme, specially adapted orthodontic floss can be used to floss around the brackets and wires. Proper flossing techniques will help patients avoid common dental problems such as tooth decay, cavities, periodontists, halitosis and gingivitis.

People who have questions regarding the proper regular care of their teeth or who would like more information about braces in Gravesend, should consider the Parrock Dental and Implant Centre. Here patients can receive regular check-ups and quality dental treatments. More information regarding the Parrock Dental and Implant Centre can be found online at www.parrockdental.co.uk or by calling 01474 537191.

The practice is located at 189-191 Parrock Street, in Gravesend, Kent DA12 1EN and is run by lead dentist Dr Rik Trivedi. This dental office can provide cosmetic and aesthetic dental treatments as well as routine maintenance and care.