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The Importance of Flossing Your Teeth

No matter how well you brush your teeth it is almost impossible to reach the food debris and plaque that lodges under the gum line and between your teeth. Flossing should be part of your daily oral health care routine. Gum disease occurs when there is an excessive amount of plaque around the gum line. The plaque harbours bacteria when it grows. Your gums react to the bacteria and this can lead to swollen & bleeding gums and eventually your teeth will become loose.


Why is flossing important?

Gum disease (Periodontal Disease) and decay are caused by bacterial plaque. The plaque sticks to your teeth and gum line. By flossing daily you can remove the plaque that brushing alone cannot remove.


How often should I floss?

Flossing helps to keep your gums and teeth healthy so we recommend that you should floss a least once a day. Ideally you should floss after every meal, especially after eating popcorn, cornflakes or meat. If you wear braces then ii is very important that you floss after every meal.


How to Floss?

If you are using Floss thread cut off about 18 inches of Floss, wrap the floss around each middle finger leaving an inch or two that you can work with. This is known as the spool method.

Hold the floss tightly between your thumb and forefinger and slide the floss gently up and down between the teeth. Once you reach the gum line gently curve the floss and follow the shape of your tooth. Use clean sections of floss for each tooth.


Types of Floss

String Floss- Waxed or unwaxed. The waxed variety are ideal for anyone whose teeth are tightly packed as it glides easier between the teeth. Waxed floss tends to fray more than unwaxed floss.

For children, people with braces, dentures, braces or for anyone with Dexterity issues there are other options available. Here are some options:

Flossers & Floss Handles - A flosser is a piece of dental floss on a stick. These are ideal for children & elderly people who find it hard to reach the back of their mouth.

Floss Threaders - A floss threader is a piece of stiffened nylon thread (similar to a fishing line). It is ideal for anyone with bridges, braces or implants. Eg SuperFloss


Interdental Brushes

An interdental brush is a small brush especially designed for cleaning between your teeth. It can help in keeping your gums and teeth healthy and can help in preventing gum inflammation, cavities and bad breath.







Some Useful Facts About Teeth Whitening:

1. Tooth Whitening is a very popular cosmetic dentistry procedure that can deliver beautiful results quickly and easily


2. All teeth naturally become discoloured with age; very few people are actually born with naturally pearly white teeth.

3. ‘Hydrogen Peroxide’ or ‘Carbamide Peroxide’ are the active bleaching ingredients which are currently used in teeth whitening.

4. A new European Council Directive bans the use and sale of tooth whitening products which contain over 6% Hydrogen Peroxide or 18% Carbamide Peroxide. Products containing more than 0.1% and up to 6% can only be administered in the first instance by a dentist, and thereafter on the prescription of a dentist. Tooth whitening is also restricted to those over 18 years of age.  Any course of tooth whitening has to be preceded by a full clinical examination to ensure the suitability of the case, in particular the absence of any oral pathology.


5. Most “DIY” teeth whitening products purchased “over the counter” do not contain enough peroxide to effectively whiten teeth.

6. Teeth whitening only works on natural teeth;
Teeth Whitening will not work on dental crowns, veneers, or teeth with large fillings.


7. Teeth whitening works better for people with yellow and light brown teeth that have stained naturally over a period of years. People with dark brown or greyish stains may require more intensive treatment.

8. Most teeth whitening treatments normally take three to four weeks to complete. Some treatments like ‘power whitening’ can be completed in one visit, but the results don’t last as long and there is an increased incidence of sensitivity.

9. Teeth Whitening doesn’t last forever, however many people who have their teeth whitened report whiter teeth even 3 years after having it done.

10. Well known short-term side effects of tooth whitening may include increased tooth and gum sensitivity
, white blotchy patches on the teeth themselves and white patches on the gum line. These side effects are usually short lived and subside shortly after treatment has finished.

11. Whitening toothpastes do not improve the colour of teeth, but may be more effective at removing staining
 to restore the tooth’s natural colour.


12. Is it safe? Yes. Clinical trials and studies have found it to be a very safe procedure. However, it is not recommended to bleach your teeth if you are pregnant or have tooth decay or active gum disease.


13. It will typically depend on the Whitening procedure you go for but most people who consult with their dentist for an in-house procedure or a take home whitening kit tend to see their teeth come up around three to four shades lighter.



Useful Whitening tips: 

1. If you are considering using a home teeth whitening kit, seek the advice of your dentist first. Make sure you have had your teeth professionally checked for tooth decay and gum disease before any form of teeth whitening treatment.

2. Always have your teeth whitened by a registered qualified dental professional.

3. Cut down on food and drinks which will stain your teeth such as tea, coffee, red wine and cola.




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