Millions of people use dental floss and do not even know that along with the benefits it has disadvantages.
Dental floss is an additional tool for oral hygiene procedures. The primary purpose of dental floss is to thoroughly clean between your teeth and prevent plaque from building up in that area. So, proper brushing, flossing and toothpaste prevent plaque (like plaque and tartar) and reduce your risk of disease. Hygiene will be more effective if you also use mouthwashes and irrigators.
Sometimes there are conflicting views on flossing: Is there more benefit or harm in flossing?
Benefits of Flossing
All that was named above regarding the function of floss use, already says that this device is useful. The main thing – the right choice and the right application.
Modern dental floss can be made of different materials:
- Natural (e.g., silk);
- Artificial (nylon or Teflon).
Nylon floss is widely used – as a definite compromise between the other types of floss: nylon floss is quite reliable (stronger than silk) and not as expensive as Teflon.
Additional components may be added to the floss fibers:
- Wax (so-called waxed floss). Such floss is less effective than floss without the wax treatment, but it is more comfortable with respect to the process of getting used to it, which means it is more suitable for those who are just beginning to floss.
- Polymeric components to reduce friction.
- Mineralizing (e.g., fluorinating) ingredients.
- Flavorings and other “refreshing” substances (for example, menthol compounds).
Flosses are also differentiated by the shape of the section: flat and rounded. Flat flosses are good for cleaning close interdental spaces; rounded flosses, respectively, are useful where there is a relatively wide gap between the teeth.
There are also “special purpose” flosses to help care for orthodontic or prosthetic constructions.
There are also different forms of production: a spool (in this case, the user himself separates the desired piece of floss) or on “holders”, where the pieces are already ready for use.
As you can see, floss manufacturers provide enough options for flossing to be as effective, convenient, and useful as possible.
Can Floss Be Harmful?
Actually, yes. As any therapeutic, preventive, hygienic means, floss can cause harm in case of improper use. For example:
- There is a risk of mechanical damage. Often this applies to the gums.
- Floss can be an unnecessary irritant to gums that are already inflamed.
- Excessive flossing is also undesirable (one flossing per day is sufficient).
To floss is only a source of benefit, you should get a consultation with a specialist and pick up floss according to your individual features and state of health of your mouth. In addition, the doctor will explain in detail how to properly use the floss. Remember, too, that the proper performance of “home” hygiene measures should be supplemented by periodic professional tooth brushing (at the dentist’s office).