Oral health: How often do you floss? Plaque will gradually build up if you do not

Teeth whitening: Dentist discusses at home methods

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Indeed, Dr Hanna Kinsella who is founder of Icy Bear Dental said “flossing is an incredibly important part of oral health”. The NHS says you are advised to use interdental brushes in addition to brushing as part of your daily oral health routine from the age of 12. It adds you should brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day for about two minutes to help keep your teeth and mouth healthy.

The NIH says teeth are covered in a hard, outer coating called enamel.

It explains: “Every day, a thin film of bacteria called dental plaque builds up on your teeth.

“The bacteria in plaque produce acids that can harm enamel and cause cavities.

“Brushing and flossing your teeth can prevent decay, but once a cavity forms, to avoid further damage, a dentist must fix it with a filling.”

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The NHS says: “Flossing isn’t just for dislodging food wedged between your teeth. Regular flossing may also reduce gum disease and bad breath by removing plaque that forms along the gum line.”

Dr Hanna said: “It’s vital for removing plaque from between your teeth in the places that a toothbrush won’t reach.

“Similar to brushing, flossing is absolutely key to oral health. Flossing removes plaque and debris that can linger in the mouth and cause tooth decay and develop bacteria.”

Dr Uchenna Okoye, Cosmetic Dentist at London Smiling Dental Group said: “Floss the teeth you want to keep, it’s that simple. Flossing is one of the most important elements of dental health.”

Dr Uchenna added: “A toothbrush can’t get in between your teeth so ideally, you should floss every day but if a step too far then at least every other day.

“Floss, after brushing, use an electric toothbrush then floss to remove any debris left.”

The Dr said: “Bleeding after flossing means there is bacteria build-up still so don’t be afraid of the blood it means you actually need to brush and floss more. Any worries if it continues do contact your dentist for a check-up.”

The NHS says: “When you first start flossing, your gums may be tender and bleed a little. Carry on flossing your teeth as directed by your dental team and the bleeding should stop as your gums become healthier.”

The health body says: “If you’re still getting regular bleeding after a few days, see your dental team. They can check if you’re flossing correctly.”

The Oral Health Foundation said: “It takes up to an hour for your mouth to cancel out the acid caused by eating and drinking sugar.

“During this time your teeth are under attack from this acid. It is therefore important to limit the number of attacks by having sugary foods and drinks just at mealtimes.”

It says: “Tooth decay can be painful and lead to fillings, crowns or inlays. If tooth decay is not treated, the nerve of the tooth can become infected and die, causing an abscess.”

The NIH says there is a right way to brush and floss your teeth.

It says every day:

  • Gently brush your teeth on all sides with a soft-bristle brush and fluoride toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.
  • Use small circular motions and short back-and-forth strokes.
  • Brush carefully and gently along your gum line.
  • Lightly brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper to help keep your mouth clean.
  • Clean between your teeth with dental floss, pre-threaded flossers, a water flosser, or a similar product. This removes plaque and leftover food that a toothbrush can’t reach.
  • Rinse after you floss.

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