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Posted on: May 10, 2021
Why Flossing Is a Must, Not a Maybe
Learn the Benefits of Flossing
Many people overlook flossing. However, it’s a crucial part of maintaining a healthy mouth and having good oral hygiene. Fortunately, you only need to floss once a day to receive its benefits. Whether you choose to floss in the morning, after dinner, or at night is up to you, but the best time to floss is the time that works best with your schedule. This ensures that flossing becomes a part of your everyday routine. Here are five reasons how flossing each day can improve the health of your teeth and gums.
Prevent Tartar Build-Up
Plaque is a nearly colorless film that forms on your teeth constantly. Since it’s quite soft, it’s easy to remove plaque from your teeth by simply flossing every day. The problem occurs when plaque is left on your teeth for too long. If left to accumulate, plaque hardens and turns into a yellowish-brown substance called tartar. You can’t remove tartar at home by brushing or flossing; it can only be removed by a dental professional. Tartar irritates the gums by causing inflammation, and it can also affect the appearance of your teeth.
Fight Tooth Decay
Plaque also contains bacteria that feed on the sugars and carbohydrates in many foods and drinks. Once the bacteria in plaque consume these sugars, they release harmful acids that can harm your tooth enamel. Over time, this can create a cavity, which is a tiny hole in a tooth. To eliminate plaque and food particles from between your teeth or other hard-to-reach places, flossing every day is essential.
Prevent Gum Disease
Bacteria in plaque can harm your sensitive gum tissue in the same way that it damages your tooth enamel. When plaque bacteria release acids, it irritates and inflames the gums. This can lead to red, puffy gums that may bleed when you brush or floss. These symptoms are the warning signs of gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease. If gum disease is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, a serious gum infection that may lead to tooth loss.
Eliminate Bad Breath
Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, has a variety of causes, but one of the main causes is the buildup of bacteria in your mouth. Bad breath is a common occurrence in people who don’t floss regularly, as this lets bacteria and particles of food collect between the teeth. By flossing every day, you can prevent bad breath by removing food debris and bacteria before they cause your breath to smell unpleasant.
Protect Your Overall Health
A growing body of research suggests that there is a strong link between the health of your mouth and your overall health. If you have gum disease, it’s possible for bacteria to enter your bloodstream and affect other parts of your body. This may cause serious problems throughout the body, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory diseases, and rheumatoid arthritis. Flossing diligently can help support your gum health and reduce your risk of developing these serious problems.
Kids Also Need to Floss
Our dentists recommend flossing your child’s teeth as soon as they have developed two baby teeth that touch. Most children will be ready to learn about flossing between the ages of two and six, so you should keep a close eye on your child’s mouth as their teeth develop so you know when to begin flossing. Younger children will need help flossing until they’re old enough to start flossing on their own.
Fun Flossing Tips for Kids
Flossing can become a lifelong habit if children start at an early age. Try these techniques to make flossing a fun and enjoyable activity for your child:
- Join them: Make flossing a family affair by flossing with your children. Since many kids learn by example, they can learn the right way to floss their teeth when you join in on the activity.
- Establish a reward system: Introducing a reward system can increase your child’s motivation to floss every day. Make it a habit to offer praise each time they finish flossing. You can also offer a reward every week for flossing, such as staying up past their bedtime, watching their favorite movie, or anything that encourages your children to floss each day.
- Let kids choose: There are many different types of floss available for kids, and they come in numerous colors and flavors. You can make the process more engaging by letting your kids choose their own dental floss.
- Turn flossing into a game: Flossing your teeth can be fun if it’s turned into a creative story or dance party. Search online for an upbeat flossing song your kids can dance to or tell an adventure story about how floss fights bacteria and plaque.
What Is the Right Way to Floss?
Flossing doesn’t have to take a lot of time out of your busy day. The more you practice flossing, the easier it becomes. Follow this easy-to-follow technique to ensure that you receive the numerous benefits that flossing offers.
- Start by taking a long piece of floss, about 18-24 inches in length.
- Wind most of the floss around the middle finger of one hand, then wrap the rest around the other middle finger.
- Hold the floss between forefingers and thumbs, carefully threading it between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion.
- To clean at the gum line, curve the floss against the side of your tooth and gently rub in an up-and-down motion.
- Ensure that you’re flossing the sides of each tooth.
- Never force the floss between your teeth.
- Be sure to use a clean section of floss for every tooth.
Make sure that you take the necessary time to properly floss each tooth. Our dentists have helped countless patients improve their oral health. If you have any questions about flossing or would like tips on how to floss correctly, we encourage you to ask during your appointment. Give our office a call today to schedule your appointment. Your teeth and gums will thank you!