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Why is flossing an important part of teeth cleaning?

Home | Why is flossing an important part of teeth cleaning?

Cleveland Dental Wednesday, December 7th, 2022

Why is flossing an important part of teeth cleaning?

Even though you brush your teeth often, it is still not enough to remove plaque that’s hiding in the tiny, hard-to-see spaces inside your mouth. Flossing will help to remove plaque, prevent cavities and help you maintain an overall healthy smile by protecting your teeth and gums from other diseases.

Here’s why importance of dental floss is an important part of your overall dental health:

  • Protect your gums: If you neglect flossing then plaque and bacteria can easily build up resulting in bleeding gums, receding gums, tooth and bone loss. Flossing will prevent the plaque from building up of harmful bacteria. Flossing will also help you make your teeth look brighter by removing excess food that you may not spot in a mirror.
  • Prevents gum diseases: Built up plaque on your teeth can result in gum disease. If left untreated, bacteria found in plaque can harm the rest of your body by causing an inflammatory response. Gingivitis can lead to the development of heart disease, diabetes and respiratory illnesses. Floss in teeth cleaning will prevent diseases and have huge benefits on your long-term health.
  • Improves your breath: As plaque is laden with these volatile sulfur compounds (VSC) producing bacteria it may cause halitosis or bad breath. Brushing your teeth can remove plaque from the surface of your teeth however flossing will help prevent bad breath by removing plaque from between your teeth.
  • Reduces the risk of cavities: Tooth decay from plaque can lead in the cavity which causes a tiny opening or hole (also called as dental caries) in the hard surface of your teeth known as enamel. If left untreated, this can result in pain, infection, and other oral health problems.


Different types of dental floss.

There are many different dental floss types available on the market each with its own strengths and weaknesses that you can choose from. Understanding each type will allow you to select the best dental floss to fit your oral care needs.

  • 1. Unwaxed Floss: Unwaxed floss is the most common type of thin simple floss that is used. It’s made of a nylon material that is slightly thicker and more durable crafted by twisting multiple strands together. This type of floss is perfect for people having small gaps in between their teeth as they are much thinner than other types of dental floss. However, because of the nature of its construction, unwaxed floss is highly prone to shedding and breaking.
  • 2. Waxed Floss: Waxed floss is made very similarly as unwaxed floss with the added waxed layer applied to the floss. This waxed layer allows the floss to be stronger and doesn’t shred or break easily. However, due to the additional layer of wax, this type of dental floss is a little thicker than unwaxed floss making it more difficult to get into small gaps.
  • 3. Dental Tape: Dental tape is thick, flat strips of floss somewhat similar to most other types of floss but very strong. Dental tape is great for people who have larger gaps between their teeth that require thicker floss. This type of floss doesn’t work as well for the majority of people with tightly spaced teeth.
  • 4. Super Floss: Super floss is an ideal type of floss designed for those with bridges, braces, wide teeth gaps and other dental prosthetics in your mouth. These are extremely thick compared to standard floss. It may not be the best option for those with small teeth gaps.
  • 5. Polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) Floss: Polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) floss is constructed out of the same material as Gore-Tex fabric. This material is highly resistant to shredding and easily slides into small spaces between crowded teeth. The production of this floss needs the use of a known carcinogen, perfluorooctanoic acid that is known to comprise the immune system. This is why many dentists may not recommend the extended use of this product.

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