You know that every time you visit the dentist you’re going to be asked the dreaded question: “Have you been flossing regularly?” For a lot of patients, they feel a bead of nervous sweat drip down their forehead as they explain all of the reasons why they don’t as much as they should. As a matter of fact, there are significant amounts of individuals who ignore recommendations to floss at least once a day.
Science as proven that dental hygiene and oral health can help prevent serious (and some even life threatening) diseases such as infections and heart disease. While brushing your teeth is important, a toothbrush works by physically removing plaque from your teeth while toothpaste increases the effect of the toothbrush, and the types of toothpaste that contain fluoride helps to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth. Unfortunately, brushing misses a whole lot. What many non-flossing individuals don’t recognise is that flossing plays an imperative role in dental health and hygiene. Unlike a toothbrush, floss is designed to clean the tight spaces between the teeth and the opening between the base of your teeth and gums (places that a toothbrush can’t reach).
The places where the gums meet the teeth need to be cleaned through flossing. Little food particles can become lodged on these spaces causing bacteria, sometimes cavity or infection, and plaque will harden and form tartar, that can only be removed by a dentist with a scraper. Buildup of tartar can lead to gingivitis: which is the first stage of gum disease and can potentially spread deeper below the gum line, causing Periodontitis. Periodontitis a severe gum disease characterised by inflammation and eventual tooth and bone loss.
While an ADA-approved antimicrobial mouthwash also provides a powerful source of protection for your mouth by killing the bacteria that creates plaque. Mouthwash, however can’t physically scrub the teeth and gums, meaning that hard and set stuff cannot be removed from your teeth.
To properly floss your teeth use about 18 inches of floss, wrap the ends of the floss around your fingertips for better grip and control. Gently slip the floss between your teeth, being careful of your gums. Curl the floss around each tooth and scrub it up and down to scrape away any unwanted plaque.
Although it may not be the most pleasant part of the day it is an important one. Even if you’re a busy person you can do it while you watch TV, listen to the radio, or are getting ready for bed. It seriously is no time at all and the benefits definitely outweigh any of the negatives associated with flossing.