The Importance of Flossing
You already know just how important brushing is. Brushing your teeth twice a day eliminates plaque and bacteria from your teeth, helping to prevent issues like cavities and gum disease. However, brushing is just one part of your at-home oral hygiene routine. It is also important to floss your teeth. At Fairmount Dental Center, we can help you to understand the importance of flossing and how to floss properly to help you maintain optimal oral health.
Effects of Ignoring Flossing
Flossing once a day might not seem like much, but this habit is incredibly important. When you do not floss, plaque, bacteria, and other debris can accumulate between your teeth. The bristles of your toothbrush cannot access these areas, no matter how well you brush. When you neglect to floss you are at a much greater risk for developing cavities between your teeth as well as developing gum disease.
A Complement to Brushing
Brushing your teeth twice a day is essential for removing plaque, bacteria, and other debris from the surfaces of your teeth. No matter how well you brush, though, it is impossible for the bristles of your toothbrush to clean out the spaces between your teeth, leaving you susceptible to cavities and gum disease. Flossing complements your brushing habits, helping you to get the impossible to reach areas between your teeth. This allows you to reach these hidden spaces, allowing you to thoroughly clean all of the surfaces of your teeth.
How to Floss Properly
It is not just enough to floss. You have to floss properly to ensure that you protect your oral health. The American Dental Association recommends that you floss at least once a day. Ideally, flossing is done at the end of the day, before you go to bed. Taking approximately 18 inches, wind the floss between your fingers until you have about 1 to 2 inches left between them. Hold the floss taut and carefully work it between your teeth. Curve it around the sides of your teeth, gently moving it up and down to scrape away buildup. Push the floss carefully just below the gum line.
Do not force the floss or snap it against your gums. Doing so can lead to irritation, inflammation, and bleeding. Do this for each tooth, using a new section of floss for each space. Do not forget to floss behind your very back teeth. These areas are often neglected, but should not be forgotten.
While traditional floss is often recommended, this type of floss is not best for everyone. There is an alternative to traditional floss. Instead, you can use floss picks. These are small plastic pieces with a small piece of floss strung on them. Floss picks are ideal for older individuals who may not have the manual dexterity to use traditional floss anymore effectively. They also have floss picks designed specifically for children, who also may have trouble properly flossing their teeth effectively. Floss picks are also a great option for those on the go.
Learn More About Optimizing Your Oral Health:
Flossing daily, along with twice daily brushing, helps you to maintain the health of your mouth, preventing the formation of serious oral health issues. Call Fairmount Dental Center at (503) 362-8364 today for more information.