Dental floss is a bundle of thin filaments used to remove food and dental plaque from teeth. The floss is gently inserted between the teeth and scraped along the teeth sides, especially close to the gums or underneath them. Dental floss may be made of either plastic (nylon, PTFE or polyethylene) or silk, and can be flavored or unflavored, and waxed or unwaxed. An alternative tool to achieve the same effect is the interdental brush.
Flossing in addition to toothbrushing can reduce gingivitis and halitosis compared to toothbrushing alone. There is weak evidence that flossing plus toothbrushing may help to reduce plaque buildup relative to toothbrushing alone.
Oral hygiene is the practice of keeping the mouth and teeth clean to prevent dental problems, most commonly, dental cavities, gingivitis, and bad breath. There are also oral pathologic conditions in which good oral hygiene is required for healing and regeneration of the oral tissues. These conditions included gingivitis, periodontitis, and dental trauma, such as subluxation, oral cysts, and following wisdom tooth extraction.