While brushing teeth is a universally recognized aspect of oral hygiene, flossing often doesn’t receive the attention it deserves. Flossing is an effective way to clean the spaces between teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. Your dentist can tell immediately from a look at your teeth and gums if you are a regular flosser. The ADA communicates flossing is essential for people of all ages for many reasons. Some of the benefits may even surprise you; let’s have a look.
Removal of Plaque and Food Particles
The most important oral hygiene benefit of flossing is managing and removing large particles of food and plaque. Something stuck in your teeth? Regular brushing will likely not remove it, and it can fester and cause gum disease in a localized area. This could lead to the need for a tooth extraction as it progresses.
- Plaque Removal: Flossing helps to remove plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. Plaque can harden into tartar if not removed, leading to gum disease and tooth decay.
- Food Particles: Brushing alone can’t always dislodge food particles trapped between teeth. Flossing removes these particles, reducing the risk of cavities and bad breath.
Prevention of Gum Disease
Gums keep teeth in place and are an integral part of our day-to-day life. Keeping them healthy can prevent tooth extractions, cavities, oral pain, or the need for major oral procedures like oral surgery.
- Gum Health: Flossing stimulates the gums, preventing gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. These conditions, if untreated, can lead to tooth loss and other health issues.
- Inflammation Reduction: Regular flossing reduces gum inflammation and bleeding, which are signs of early gum disease.
Contributes to Overall Health
The state and health of your gums can provide insight into your overall health and well-being. If you have signs of decay, pain, discoloration, or other gum-related issues, it could be a sign of several things beyond your hygiene habits.
- Heart Health: There’s growing evidence linking oral health to overall health. Poor oral hygiene can lead to heart disease and other systemic conditions.
- Diabetes Control: For people with diabetes, maintaining good oral health, including flossing, is crucial as it can help control blood sugar levels.
Aids in Preventing Bad Breath
Gums trap food particles, acids, and sugars and are moist and warm. These are perfect conditions for bacteria to form, so flossing is a priority. This can help keep that bacteria from developing and creating odors and bad tastes in your mouth.
- Halitosis Prevention: Flossing helps remove particles and bacteria that cause bad breath, contributing to fresher breath and a more confident smile.
Regular flossing and good oral hygiene can prevent expensive dental treatments from being necessary.
- Cost-Effective: Regular flossing can prevent dental issues that might require costly treatments in the future.
Promotes a Brighter Smile
Healthy gums often help you maintain a brighter smile for a few reasons.
- Aesthetic Aspect: Flossing helps keep teeth looking bright and healthy by removing plaque and particles.
- Deep Cleaning: flossing helps you maintain healthy gums, which keep teeth firmly in place and help with cleanliness and coloration.
Dental Flossing Recommendations
- Frequency: Floss at least once daily, preferably before bedtime, to remove food particles and plaque.
- Technique: Use a gentle sawing motion and ensure to floss gently beneath the gum line.
- Regular Dental Checkups: Combine flossing with regular dental checkups for optimal oral health.
Flossing, though a simple act, profoundly affects our dental and overall health. Embracing this practice can lead to a lifetime of benefits. If you’re not brushing twice daily after meals, now is the time to start.
Children and Flossing
Creating strong and healthy habits for your children and loved ones can help them maintain health over time. When your children have enough teeth to learn to floss, it’s time to try it out as a fun exercise together. Use flossers that make it easier instead of regular spooled floss.
Make a game out of it or a competition, but instill proper mechanics and the importance of not doing it too hard or too deeply. We don’t want to make the gums bleed. If they do, that is okay, but that should not be the point, so be sure you’re setting a solid example for flossing at an early age.
Flossing and Seeing the Dentist
Flossing should be an integral part of everyone’s oral hygiene routine. Its benefits extend beyond only dental health, influencing overall well-being and quality of life. By flossing daily, individuals can significantly reduce their risk of dental problems and enjoy a healthier, brighter smile.
No matter how good our home oral hygiene is, we need to see the dentist at least two times a year to ensure we have professional insight into the state of our oral health. Find the best local dentist in southern Brooklyn NY, right here at ConeyIslandDental.com