Do You Floss Your Teeth? Here Is Why And How You Can Start It

Even your toothbrush cannot clean all areas of your teeth, so flossing can help. It helps clean out food particles and plaque between teeth.

Sushmita Sharma
Written by: Sushmita SharmaUpdated at: May 04, 2023 16:06 IST
Do You Floss Your Teeth? Here Is Why And How You Can Start It

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You must have heard the importance of brushing your teeth twice a day, but how often do you hear the importance of flossing your teeth? It is usually overlooked and not a part of daily oral hygiene in many people. However, if you want to avoid problems like tooth decay and gum disease, start this practice right away. For cleaning between teeth, dental floss is a thin-filament cable to get to spaces that a toothbrush can't reach.

Why Is Flossing Important

Brushing and flossing together significantly reduced gum diseases like gingivitis, according to research by the National Institute of Health, US.

Removes Food Particles

When we eat, food fragments get stuck between our teeth, and if they are not taken out, they can encourage the growth of bacteria. Bacteria can result in plaque, a sticky film that forms on teeth and can cause gum disease and tooth damage. Flossing can help remove those fragments and the plaque that can cause cavities and gum diseases. 

Prevents Gum Diseases

Caused by plaque accumulation, gum disease is a serious condition that can cause tooth loss if it is not treated. Once it has hardened into tartar due to negligence, plaque can only be removed by a dental expert. Swollen, bleeding gums and foul breath are among symptoms.

Prevents Bad Breath

Another added advantage of flossing is that it can help prevent bad breath. Bad breath is caused by volatile sulphur compounds that bacteria in the mouth might create. We can keep our mouths clean and fresh by flossing to remove food particles and bacteria.

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Different Methods Of Flossing

Traditional Flossing

This is the most common method of flossing, and it involves using a strand of floss to clean between teeth. Wrap the floss around your middle fingers and leave a few inches between your hands when using traditional floss. Guide the floss back and forth between your teeth using a gentle motion. The floss should be curved around each tooth in a C shape and slid up and down between the tooth and gum line. You should ensure that you use a fresh section of floss for each tooth.

Water Flossing

Water flossing is an alternative to traditional flossing and uses a device called a water flosser. A water flosser is a handheld device that uses a stream of water to clean between teeth and along the gum line. To use a water flosser, fill the device with warm water and aim the tip at the space between your teeth. Turn on the device and move the tip along the gum line, pausing briefly between each tooth. Water flossers are especially useful for people with braces or dental implants.

Floss Picks

Floss picks are a convenient and easy-to-use alternative to traditional floss. Floss picks are small plastic tools with curved ends that hold a short piece of floss. To use a floss pick, hold the handle and guide the floss between your teeth. Curve the floss around each tooth in a C shape and slide it up and down between the tooth and gum line. Use a fresh floss pick for each tooth.

Also Read: Facing Sudden Sensitivity In Your Teeth? Here Are 7 Causes You Should Know

Interdental Brushes

Interdental brushes are small brushes designed to clean between teeth and around dental work like braces, bridges, and implants. Interdental brushes have a small, cylindrical head with bristles that look like tiny bottle brushes. Insert the brush between your teeth and slide it back and forth to utilise an interdental brush.


Oral hygiene is not just about brushing your teeth but also involves flossing, visiting the dentist for regular dental cleaning, avoiding tooth-staining foods like caffeine and acidic foods, among other steps. You should also not neglect your tongue and consider using mouthwash.

For specific guidance if you have a dental condition , do consult a doctor.