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Mercy Leghemo

When it comes to oral health, we tend to overlook an essential part of our mouths, (between our teeth). Food particles often stick between our teeth and brushes can’t always get these particles out, hence the need to floss.  Flossing simply means cleaning between your teeth with dental floss which removes food and dental plaque from between teeth in areas a toothbrush is unable to reach. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that individuals should clean between their teeth at least once a day. There is no specific time for flossing, it could be before bed, in the middle of the day, a few minutes after meal etc., all it takes is a few minutes which you can devote to cleaning your teeth.
However, it's important to mention that flossing too hard can damage the tissue between your teeth, thereby causing bleeding. Here's a simple breakdown of how to floss properly;
  • Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty.

  • Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.

  • Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Never snap the floss into the gums.

  • When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.

  • Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions.     Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget the back side     of your last tooth.

  • Once you’re finished, throw the floss away. A used piece of floss won’t be as effective and could leave bacteria behind in your mouth.    

 Flossing is extremely essential when it comes to oral health majorly for the reason that it removes bacteria that are the precursors of plaque, which if left to fester will turn into tartar (whitish particles that form above and below the gumline) that cannot be removed by regular brushing or flossing. Tartar is what eventually causes the damage that leads to decay and tooth loss. 
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