Do you religiously brush your teeth twice a day and think that’s enough to maintain good oral health?
Well, think again! Oral health goes beyond just brushing your teeth.
Flossing, for instance, is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums, but it’s also one of the most overlooked steps in oral hygiene. In fact, many people avoid flossing altogether because they find it cumbersome, time-consuming, or just plain uncomfortable.
If you’re someone who has been neglecting flossing, or if you’re just curious about why it’s so important, then keep reading. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why flossing is essential for oral health, how it contributes to overall health, and tips for effective flossing.
What is Flossing?
When it comes to maintaining good oral health, brushing alone is not enough. Flossing is an essential part of oral hygiene that is often overlooked. Flossing involves using a thin piece of string, known as dental floss, to remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth and under your gum line.
Unlike brushing, which cleans the surface of your teeth, flossing cleans the areas in between your teeth that a toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing should be done at least once a day, preferably before bedtime.
Benefits of Flossing
Flossing plays a crucial role in maintaining good oral and even overall health. Here are a few ways that flossing contributes to your well-being:
Removing plaque and preventing gum disease
Flossing helps to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth and under your gum line. If left untreated, plaque buildup can lead to gum disease, which can cause swelling, bleeding gums, and even tooth loss.
Preventing tooth decay and bad breath
Flossing helps to remove bacteria and food particles that can cause tooth decay and bad breath. Regular flossing can prevent cavities from forming in between teeth, where a toothbrush cannot reach.
Improving overall health
Poor oral health has been linked to several systemic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. By removing harmful bacteria and reducing inflammation in the gums, flossing can help reduce the risk of these and other health problems.
Flossing can help preserve your natural teeth by preventing tooth decay and gum disease. When left untreated, these conditions can lead to tooth loss and the need for expensive dental procedures.
Preventing dental problems through regular flossing can save you money in the long run. Dental procedures such as fillings, root canals, and extractions can be costly, and prevention is always more affordable than treatment.
How to Floss Effectively
When flossing, it is important to do it the right way for maximum results. To floss effectively, follow these steps:
- Take a piece of floss about 18 inches long and wrap it around your fingers, leaving about 2 inches of floss to work with.
- Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and index fingers and gently insert it between your teeth using a back-and-forth motion.
- Curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gum line. Be careful not to snap the floss against your gums.
- Use a clean section of floss for each tooth.
Tips for Flossing with Braces, Bridges, or Other Dental Appliances
Flossing with braces, bridges, or other dental appliances can be challenging, but it’s essential to maintaining good oral hygiene. Here are some tips to make flossing easier:
- Use a floss threader to thread the floss under the wire of your braces or bridge.
- Use an interdental brush to clean between teeth and around dental appliances.
- Consider using a water flosser to remove food particles and plaque.
Common Misconceptions about Flossing
There are several misconceptions about flossing that may prevent people from doing it regularly. Here are a few common misconceptions and why they are false:
Myth #1: Flossing isn’t necessary if you brush your teeth twice a day.
Fact: Brushing alone cannot remove all the food particles and plaque that accumulate between teeth and under the gum line. Flossing is necessary to remove these particles and prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
Myth #2: Flossing is painful and can damage your gums.
Fact: Flossing should not be painful if done correctly. Be gentle when flossing and avoid snapping the floss against your gums. With regular flossing, your gums will become healthier, making flossing easier and more comfortable.
At Premier Family Dental, we are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal oral health. If you have any questions about flossing or would like to schedule a dental cleaning and exam, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our clinic.
Our experienced team of dental professionals is here to help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!