It is no secret to us, we know most of the people we see do not floss regularly. While many of our patients follow our recommendation of brushing twice daily, they still skip flossing and this is a big mistake. Flossing plays a crucial role in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. It provides benefits that cannot be achieved through brushing alone. Let us explain why everyone should make flossing daily a priority.
Why You Should Floss Daily
Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between the teeth and along the gum line. These areas are particularly prone to the accumulation of bacteria and debris, as toothbrush bristles often struggle to reach these tight spaces. Flossing, however, can effectively remove these, preventing the development of cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues.
When bacteria is not removed from teeth it hardens and becomes sticky over time – turning into plaque. When left on the teeth, plaque can harden into calculus (tartar), which is more difficult to remove and can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Flossing helps remove bacteria and break up the plaque between the teeth, reducing the risk of decay and gum irritation.
Flossing is essential for maintaining healthy gums. When plaque accumulates along the gum line, it can cause irritation and inflammation, leading to gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Regular flossing helps remove plaque from this sensitive area, reducing the likelihood of developing gum disease and its associated symptoms, such as swollen or bleeding gums.
Because many of us skip flossing they may see blood after they floss. This is a sign that your gums are irritated and you need to make flossing a daily priority. Remember, healthy gums do not bleed.
Food particles trapped between teeth can produce an unpleasant odor as they decompose, leading to bad breath. By flossing daily, you can remove these hidden particles, improving your breath and overall oral hygiene.
How to Floss
- Start by taking approximately 18 inches of floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving a few inches of floss to work with.
- Gently guide the floss between your teeth using a sawing motion and curving it into a C shape and moving it up and down along each tooth surface.
- Be careful not to snap the floss into the gums, as this can cause injury.
- Use a fresh section of floss for each tooth.
- Don’t forget the back surfaces of the last molars.
Get Into the Routine
Flossing takes very little time and can easily be done just about anywhere. For example, if you enjoy hot bubble baths bring your floss with you or while you are watching television with the family pass the floss around. Get into a routine and you won’t have to think twice about flossing, it will simply become part of your daily routine.