Why Flossing is so Important

Why Flossing is so Important

Oct 21, 2013

Flossing is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. Although many people believe they are supposed to floss to remove food debris from their teeth, removing plaque is even more important.

Plaque is the bacteria that form on your teeth between brushing. When plaque sits on your teeth it generates acid which leads to tooth decay and gingivitis. Eventually you can end up with periodontal disease and tooth loss. The only way to effectively remove plaque between your teeth is by flossing or using another inter-dental cleaner.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends flossing at least once a day. It is easy to put it off until the end of the day when you may be too tired to follow through. Try flossing first thing in the morning or after lunch.

Learning the Proper Flossing Technique

Use a piece of floss 15 and 18 inches long. Loop most of the string around the middle finger of one hand and the rest around your other middle finger. Wrap it around each tooth, one at a time, in the shape of a “C.” Clean up and down the tooth’s surface with the floss between your thumbs and forefingers.

If you notice that your gums bleed don’t be alarmed. Inflamed gums are caused by plaque build-up. However, if bleeding does not stop after flossing for a few days in a row, it could be a sign of periodontal disease. Let your dentist know if you are concerned.

Don’t skip your back molars where most decay occurs. If it is difficult to reach all of your teeth, try using a floss holder. They help you find the dexterity to clean between your teeth with just one hand. There are soft wooden floss holders as well as two-pronged plastic floss holders. A pre-threaded dental pick works well for many people.

You may feel some slight discomfort when you first begin a flossing routine but don’t give up. You should notice improvement within one or two weeks when you floss daily. If the discomfort continues, see your dentist so that he can rule out any problems.

Image Source: flickr.com/photos/wolfstad/4672780833/

Original Source: https://www.craigarmstrongdds.com/cleanings-and-prevention/flossing-important


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