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Posted on: May 10, 2021
Why Flossing Is a Must, Not a Maybe
What Are the Advantages of Flossing?
There are many people who don’t like to floss their teeth. This can be due to a variety of reasons. Sometimes you might forget to floss. Maybe you don’t have enough time during the morning or are too tired to floss at the end of the day. Perhaps you just don’t view flossing as an essential activity for your oral health, especially if you’re already brushing your teeth twice a day. No matter the reasons you might have for not flossing regularly, keep reading to discover several very convincing reasons why today should be the day you make flossing a daily habit.
Prevent the Development of Plaque and Tartar
Plaque is a coating that develops on your teeth every day. It can leave your teeth feeling sticky or fuzzy and is typically colorless or pale yellow. Plaque also contains bacteria, but since it’s soft and pliable, you can remove it each day by using dental floss.
If plaque is left to accumulate on your teeth and gums, it can harden into tartar. This is a thick deposit that typically forms along the gum line, and it can only be removed at your dentist’s office. Tartar is very harmful to your teeth and can contribute to a variety of dental problems. To control plaque and prevent the formation of tartar, make sure to floss daily.
Prevent Gingivitis and Gum Disease
The bacteria present in plaque and tartar can lead to an infection of your gum tissue, which is called gum disease. Bacteria harm your gum tissue and cause inflammation, leading to gums that are swollen and red. Your gums may even bleed after brushing or flossing. These are some of the early signs of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Even if you have gingivitis, the good news is that it can be reversed by practicing good oral hygiene at home, which includes flossing.
If you don’t floss, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. This is a serious infection of your gums and other soft tissues that can lead to tooth loss. However, if you make flossing a priority, you can eliminate dangerous bacteria before it can cause inflammation and gingivitis.
Prevent Cavities and Tooth Decay
One of the main problems with plaque is that it’s very acidic, and it can damage the enamel protecting your teeth if left to accumulate on your teeth. The acids in plaque increase your risk for cavities and tooth decay as they continue to wear away tooth enamel. A cavity is a hole or opening on the outer coating of your teeth, and it can grow bigger over time. To reduce the levels of plaque and bacteria in your mouth, take the time to floss every single day. Doing so can help you avoid the pain and complications that occur from cavities.
Promote a Healthy Body
Multiple research studies have found a relationship between your dental health and overall health. If you have gum disease, it’s possible for harmful bacteria and inflammation to travel through the bloodstream. If this occurs, it can affect your entire body, possibly causing serious diseases like stroke, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and respiratory diseases. Maintain your gum health and protect the rest of your body by flossing at least once a day.
Promote Fresh-Smelling Breath
Flossing every day can help keep your breath fresh by removing trapped food particles and bacteria from in-between your teeth and at the gum line before they can cause an unpleasant odor. Halitosis is a common problem for many people, but you can reduce your risk of bad breath by using dental floss every day.
Children Also Need to Floss
According to recommendations by the American Dental Association (ADA), the appropriate time to start flossing children’s teeth occurs when your child has two teeth side by side. All children develop differently, but most children can start learning about flossing between the ages of two and six. Even though these are baby teeth that will fall out as your child develops, it’s still important to take care of them. Maintaining good oral hygiene will help your child’s permanent teeth emerge without any significant problems.
Creative Ways to Encourage Flossing in Children
It’s common for children to have difficulties when they’re first learning how to floss, particularly when they’re still at a young age. It’s a habit that kids will continue to improve upon if they continue to practice. To encourage your child to floss every day, try to implement some of these tips that make flossing more fun and enjoyable.
Providing frequent rewards can keep children’s motivation levels high, so they’re more likely to floss every day. Offer a special reward as an incentive when your child flosses for a certain number of days.
You can also make flossing a family event that every member of the family participates in. Flossing together as a family will help everyone improve their oral health, and you’ll also be able to lead by example as you demonstrate the proper way to floss.
Turn flossing into fun and games to keep your children engaged in this healthy habit. Create songs about flossing or an adventure story with a superhero protagonist who fights against cavities and bacteria with their flossing superpower. Try to be as creative as you can to make flossing a fun activity for your child.
What Is the Proper Flossing Technique?
To floss effectively, it’s important to use the appropriate flossing technique. Follow these steps to floss your teeth, and you’ll soon be on the path towards healthier teeth and gums:
- Cut a piece of dental floss that’s at least 18 inches long. Wind most of the floss around both of your middle fingers.
- Hold the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers as you carefully slide the floss between your teeth. Move the floss in an up-and-down motion between your teeth.
- Angle the floss so it forms a C-shape. This will help you curve the floss around each of your teeth and make it easier to reach under the gum line.
- Repeat these steps as you progress to each tooth.
- Make sure to use a clean piece of dental floss for each tooth.
We encourage you to call our office to make an appointment if you have any questions about flossing. Our team cares about your oral health and wants to help you achieve a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime.