Dental floss (dental ply) is a strip of thin, stringy filaments that are used to eliminate dental plaque and food from between teeth in places a toothbrush cannot reach. Dental floss is typically recommended to individuals who are in good general health as well as those with difficulty chewing or swallowing. The main function of dental floss is to help prevent cavities and dental buildup. Dental floss can be purchased in many different styles and grades, depending on your dental needs. There are also many different brands and types on the market today.
For many years, dental floss was made using the same basic materials used for threading clothing: fine nylon thread, cotton tweezers, an adhesive backing, a grinding wheel, and a dental flossing tool. It was designed so that the dental floss would pull teeth thoroughly across the gum line. Although the floss design has changed dramatically over time, the basic dental floss principles remain the same. Dental flossing is the most effective method of dental cleaning and can prevent cavities and gum disease, by removing plaque on the teeth and gums and making sure that dental cavities do not develop in later years.
Dental floss comes in two basic styles: the threader type I and the brush on type i. Threader type I utilizes nylon bristles that are pushed through the dental floss, while brush on floss uses a brush that grabs the dental floss and pulls it across the teeth. Both types of dental floss have similar dental cleaning benefits, however, threader type ii is more effective at removing plaque and reducing cavities than brush on floss. If your dental condition requires that you brush on floss, be sure to purchase quality dental floss that will not cause irritation to your gums. There are several types of dental floss available on the market today; however, threader type ii is preferred.
Many people do not pay attention to dietary guidelines and are unaware of the significant role dental floss plays in oral health care. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, dietary guidelines should include at least a third of the calories that come from foods that are recommended for weight loss. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans also recommends that at least a third of the calories in foods be coming from fat, protein, or both. Research studies have shown that dietary guidelines that include flossing and brushing twice daily are effective in reducing the risk of developing heart disease. The health risks of poor dietary habits and obesity are now well-known.
A diet low in sugar and salt is highly recommended for reducing dental problems and maintaining oral health. Sugar is a major factor in creating plaque, which can become trapped between teeth, making them more difficult to clean and healthy. When plaque is allowed to build up, pockets can form between the teeth, creating spaces that are ideal for tooth decay and abscess formation. Flossing after every meal is an easy way to prevent tooth decay and plaque, as it gently removes food particles that may have settled below the gum line during the night. Brushing three times daily is also highly recommended, as brushing removes food particles that may have reached the back of the teeth and into the gums. After all, our teeth and gums are supposed to be our first defense against all forms of disease!
Although dental flossing and brushing may seem like a chore, research has demonstrated that these actions help to reduce cavities and stop the progression of gum disease. As stated by the U.S. department of health and human services, most individuals would benefit from following dietary guidelines and flossing at least twice daily. This may be difficult to accomplish for many, as many people have busy schedules and can not afford to take the time out of their schedule to visit the dentist’s office for a professional cleaning. For this reason, many dentists offer in-house flossing and brushing services at a low cost or for free with a patient’s dental insurance. Whether you choose this option or find a nearby dentist who offers these services, both treatments are beneficial in preventing further dental damage and maintaining oral hygiene.