Even for people who take good care of their teeth and gums, flossing can be the weak link in the oral hygiene chain. It can be all too easy after you’ve brushed your teeth to just move on with the rest of your day or head off to sleep. But if you skip flossing either because you think you are too busy or for any of the other reasons why people hate flossing, you are increasing the chances of not only tooth decay but serious problems with your gums.
Brushing Can’t-Do It All
Toothbrushes, though vital and indispensable for good oral health, can’t and don’t do it all. They can’t get into the crevices, spaces, and cracks between your teeth and gums, and those are the very places where bad things happen. Food debris and oral bacteria can build in these hard to reach parts of your mouth leading to infection. Bleeding, infected, and inflamed gums, periodontal disease, and even more serious health issues linked to problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory infections, can all be the byproduct of keeping your dental floss tucked away in your medicine cabinet.
For some people who have sensitive gums or whose gums are prone to bleeding, one of the biggest fears about flossing is that doing so may be painful or make these problems even worse. The reality is that flossing regularly can improve the health of your gums by removing the irritants that can cause inflammation and bleed, thus reducing the frequency of bleeding in the future.
A study conducted in 2006 on 51 sets of twins looked at the difference between those who only brushed their teeth compared to those who brushed and flossed. After two weeks, the twins who flossed twice a day had 38 percent fewer bleeding gum areas than those who only brushed their teeth.
Flossing not only promotes healthy gums, its effectiveness at removing food particles and plaque can reduce bad breath and protect you against gingivitis.
How to Floss Correctly
You should floss at least once daily. It doesn’t particularly matter when you do it during the course of the day or whether it is before or after you brush your teeth just as long as you do it. Whatever works for you will work for your teeth and gums.
To effectively floss between your teeth and do the best job of removing food and bacteria, take a piece of oral dental floss that is about 12-14 inches in length. Wrap each side around the index finger of the right and left hands, and hold the floss in place with the thumbs. Next, gently slide the floss down the vertical face of one tooth, across the gap, and up the vertical face of the proceeding tooth. This is to be done between each tooth, removing stray food particles that brushing may have missed.
Assure A Smile: Your Partners in Holistic Health
Good dental habits can play a huge role in the health of your teeth and gums, as well as improve your overall health and well-being. At Assure A Smile in Miami, we partner with our patients to help them develop healthy, natural, and effective oral hygiene habits as part of an overall wellness strategy and holistic healthcare approach. To learn more about the importance of holistic dentistry and how to develop healthier habits for a better you, please contact us today at 305-274-0047.